Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tropes: second chance romance; found family; new adult romance; over 40 romance; adoption story; slow burn; reconciliation
“There are as many different ways to experience love as there are people in the world who deserve to be loved.”
Not Since Ewe by Susannah Nix is a layered story that captures you in the quiet of its unraveling. Much like the act of knitting, this story’s threads are pulled in different directions to create an interwoven fabric of love and reconciliation. There is so much I’d love to say about this story; there is so much of it that parallels my own life and sense of self, but I don’t want to divulge the story arc and its plot points. Instead, I think I want to note the highlights and reasons you should read this romance. Even more, Not Since Ewe is an apt reminder of why you should be reading SmartyPants Romance stories because the intelligence of the stories in this world move its readers beyond the simple action of romance to the realism of life, ending in a happily ever after for its characters.
Here’s what you should know about this book:
- This is a bit of a slow-burn. It takes a bit for Tess and Donal to process their past to find their future. And thank you, Susannah Nix, for giving them that space to figure this out. If they had rushed into attraction, if they had let the past go so easily, this reader would have been disappointed. Instead, Nix is careful in how she brings Tess and Donal together, the beats of her story making sense within the story arcs of her characters.
- If you’ve ever been someone who has struggled to make friends because you are so controlled or because vulnerability is hard for you (the finger is pointing to me), you will find yourself in Tess’s characterization. We hear her mentioned in Nix’s earlier SPR book, Mad about Ewe. She is willful and decided. Tess is organized, controlled, prickly, and as we find in this story, lonely. Making friends for her is difficult. Reconnecting with Donal, her high school love interest, isn’t easy. However, as the actions of Not Since Ewe play out, the facade she has constructed is slowly lowered, and we find the “real” Tess, fearful of losing everything if she hands over her heart to someone else. There are reasons for her fear, and they are appropriate. For me, Tess’s layers add emotional gravitas to Nix’s book.
- As complicated as Tess’s characterization is, Donal’s is just as complex. He represents men who strive for success only to find their definition of success to be short-sighted. Through his story arc, Nix shows us emotional immaturity, growth in the face of failure, and a resolution to be better in multiple areas of his life. Donal and Tess are two sides of the same coin, an emotional journey tethered through the trauma of an unplanned pregnancy.
- This book exists in the world of Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City, and it includes Marie, the one Knitting in the City character who I think gets the least recognition. Nix deftly connects her characters to Penny Reid’s popularly successful world and reminds us of the insightful characters of this world.
The beauty of Susannah Nix’s Not Since Ewe is the realization that forgiveness and letting go of the past to find the riches of the present are important. Tess and Donal’s second chance romance is complex, rich in the details of reconciliation and eventual happily ever afters. If you’ve ever felt misunderstood, if you’ve ever made poor decisions that have changed the trajectory of your life, then you will love this story.
In love and romance,