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Evvie Drake Starts Over

A Novel
Written by: Linda Holmes
Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Linda Holmes
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller
#ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today

“Everything a romantic comedy should be: witty, relatable, and a little complicated.” (People

From the host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast comes a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young woman who’s lost her husband and a Major League pitcher who’s lost his game.

In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them. 

Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future. 

When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken - and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts - the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept - but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance - up until the last out. 

A joyful, hilarious, and hope-filled debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over will have you cheering for the two most unlikely comebacks of the year - and will leave you wanting more from Linda Holmes.

Praise for Evvie Drake Starts Over

“A quirky, sweet, and splendid story of a woman coming into her own.” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones & the Six

“Charming, hopeful, and gently romantic.... Evvie Drake is great company.” (Rainbow Rowell, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Eleanor & Park)

©2019 Linda Holmes (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Julia Whelan's performance of both lead characters is lively and bright, filled with appropriate humor and pathos. The pacing of the audiobook is engaging and relaxed, inviting the listener to escape to small-town Maine and watch friendships evolve." (AudioFile Magazine)

“Holmes writes with an easy warmth about kind people who are trying their best but messing things up anyway. Characters speak to each other with natural but hilarious dialogue, making their conversations a joy to read. Refreshingly, Evvie and Dean’s relationship hurdles come because they’re adults with complex lives and baggage, not because of easily fixed miscommunications. Although their romance is often front and center, there are many other emotionally affecting storylines, chief among them the changing friendship between Andy and Evvie and Evvie’s need to stand up to her family. A warm and lovely romance, perfect for readers of Rainbow Rowell and Louise Miller.” (Kirkus Reviews

“Holmes’s debut charms, as a young widow and a former Major League pitcher learn to begin again.... At times deeply emotional yet sometimes extremely humorous, this is a satisfying crowd-pleaser.” (Publishers Weekly

“Deeply moving while simultaneously hilarious, Evvie Drake Starts Over is what happens when great writing, complex and charming characters, and a not-quite-what-you-expect ending collide.... Much more than just another romantic comedy.” (Karen White, New York Times best-selling author of Dreams of Falling)   

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good summer read

This was a good summer read. I thought Linda did a great job of drawing the characters and weaving the story. Didn't love the narration -- using a growl for the main male character's voice was rather hokey but overall, it did not distract too greatly from the plot. Usually I find these kind of 'broken people get fixed' books to be trite but this one was sweet without being cloying. Linda Holmes.....more please! :)

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Editing needed

This book needed to be edited to be half as long than it was. It seemed like the book was over but then there was 3 hrs longer and I simply wasn’t interested. Decent first half but boring second half.

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  • DallasD
  • 2019-06-30

Home Run

I had high expectations based on Linda Holmes' excellent work on NPR. The book even exceeded those expectations.
Excellent reader. Loved the easy banter and the naturalness of dialogue. As a romance it got where it had to go - and in an interesting way.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 2019-07-01

Loveliest!

I have been a giant fan of Linda's writing on NPR and was thrilled to check out her debut novel! The characters are very fleshed out and the story is rings true. Perfect summer read!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-28

A book I never wanted to end!

Evvie Drake Starts Over is a novel that made me laugh, swoon, cry, and smile. Such a beautifully written book that displayed the imperfect reality of so many people’s lives. I found myself limiting how much I listened at a time because I never wanted it to end.

PS
Linda, please write a sequel!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • DE Reader
  • 2019-06-30

I loved this book!

The characters and the story are so identifiable and engaging. I expect to read it again. Thank you!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-04

Great story that feels real

This story resonated with me, someone who has been soaking up HEA novels a lot recently. This is NOT a 'everything gets resolved quick' story. There are a lot of real human emotions and realistic situations. But the voices of the main characters don't come of whiny. I felt connected to them. I wanted things to work out because I cared.
I did have tears at one point. I enjoyed the narrator and there were plenty of smiles. I got pretty invested and listened for many hours - a good/bad thing since I was organizing a storage area, but I didn't give in to sleep until after 1 a.m.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-27

I liked it

What I really liked about this book was the subtle approach she took about emotional abuse. This book helps us all see that the abusive husband’s behavior is wrong. I’m sure so many of us experience this type of thing but just don’t realize that it definitely falls under the definition of abuse. The unrealistic part of it is that the husband died. Most abusers don’t die and the struggle to get free is very difficult and in so many cases impossible. I love that she was able to live on her own, come to terms with herself, and find love. I really truly believe she should have taken the money. She totally deserved it. I love Julia Whalen as the reader. She is a talented performer and I’m a huge fan.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jamel Figgs
  • 2019-07-01

Finished in one day

I saw this book on a morning tv show for summer read recommendations. I put it in my wish list and I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed the characters, the storyline and the narrator. It was a nice light read that I really enjoyed listening to a lazy Sunday.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Thomas
  • 2019-08-17

Basic Romance

This is a basic romance. Like the Cher song says, "There is love after love.." This is that kind of story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-08-17

Meh...

Predictable and simple, kept hoping it would get better. Even if you like Cinderella stories and baseball, I can’t recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Suzi
  • 2019-08-10

Question about narration

Why does the narrator have to say, “Evvie said,” when we know who is saying it?
It should be clear 99% of the time who is speaking.
Good narrators don’t say this over and over. This is the main reason I return books and is very annoying.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful