Hi, my name is Kim and I am addicted to books. See? I can admit it!!
The second Happenstance novella starts soon after the first one begins. Erin's life has turned upside down and this installment focuses on her new life and relationships wirh her parents.
Suddenly she is surrounded by love and affection, something she has never known before. At times, it felt a little forced and that acceptance came too quickly, but in retrospect, it seems right. It was an unusual circumstance, with everyone trying to do the right thing and not overstep. And for Erin, it was a strange place to find herself after a lifetime of essentially raising herself.
In the first novella, Weston wasn't always my favorite character. As much as I understood him, I wanted him to be a little more upfront in his support of Erin. No, she didn't need a hero, but it seemed as if Weston wasn't always as strong as he should be, even for himself. But now that Erin's truths have been revealed, it was somehow easier for him to be open about how he felt and to be more openly supportive of her and I am not sure I loved the social implications of that easier acceptance. But the reality is, he had secrets, too.
And those secrets began to surface, shattering Erin's tenuous hold on trust. She learned the reasons behind the Erin's suidden switch to mean girl bullying, and Weston's part in that. Initially, this definitely did not endear me to Weston, no matter how much I realized it was not something he wanted, but as the story unfolded and explanations were given, I came around!
Weirdly, I was happy that the bullying didn't entirely stop. If it had, the message would have been that money was all that mattered in social acceptance. But her newfound familial wealth didn't change the opinions of those who had bullied her entire life. Instead, they saw her as a usurper, trying to take the place of someone she would never be. But what these people didn't realize is that she never wanted to be anyone other than who she was and that money was immaterial to her. In many ways, she felt more comfortable without it.
The only thing that I felt uneasy about, in this novella and the last, was the lack of contact/connection with Gina, the woman who raised Erin. I realize that Erin's life with her was largely unpleasant, but I felt like there was a level of compassion that was lacking. When things changed for Erin, they changed irrevocably for Gna, too. She lost a daughter, too.
I love these stories! They tackle hard issues and do so realistically. I love that things don't fall into place too easily, but that there are obstacles and periods of adjustment.