Let’s just be frank, I loved it. And I am kind of wondering why I don’t read stories by her more often. The main story-line in this book is one of the tropes I absolutely love. Mimi feels butterflies in her stomach from the first moment she meets Cal. But Cal is happily married, father of a beautiful daughter. So over the years they develop a strong friendship, but the question in the background is always “could it be more, if it was ever the right time. And will it ever be the right time?” I absolutely love this trope. Characters who have a strong connection, but the timing is always wrong.
I also love following characters for a longer period of time. And this is exactly what we do in Maybe This Time. We follow Mimi through several years of her life, which gave me as a reader more connection to Mimi as a character. You follow her trough many emotions. Dealing with serious grief after her father passes away, but also living abroad, making friends for life in the little village of Goosebrook. At the same time it makes the story feel more real. You see life altering changes happening, but in a realistic time setting. Not everything happens in one week like some books want us to believe.
The story is geographically set in three background settings. Goosebrooke, Londen en Puerto Pollensa on Mallorca. I absolutely loved the addition of Mallorca to the story, because it just gave it a little bit extra. I don’t know, maybe it was the sun shining outside but it gave the story a little extra glamour. I really loved how the little village of Puerto Pollensa brought a vacation feeling to the story. Apart from giving it an exotic feel, it gave Mimi’s character more depth. Because of course this is a story about finding love, but it is more than that. Showing Mimi on her own, making a life for herself, made her a stronger character in my opinion. The story didn’t revolve only around her romantic feelings, but it was also about her exploring what she wanted in life and what she could be on a professional level.
A new Jill Mansell book is always a treat. But this one really captured a place in my heart. When I turned the last page I wasn’t ready to let go of the lovely people in Goosebrook and of Mimi. I would have liked to see a more elaborate ending. But that just because I am a sucker for a good epilogue set in the future. I just want to know if the characters become truly happy. But hey, that is just me. This is a brilliant book. I would highly recommend to read during one of those long summer days by the pool.