Tall Poppies Review: Treat Yourself to a Deliciously Crafted Tale in “The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go”

Sassy. Savvy. Snarky. Plus a dollop of sweet. Readers get it all in The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go, a beautiful new novel by the gifted wordsmith, Amy E. Reichert. While this author has already made a name for herself in the arena of heartfelt women’s fiction, she’s served an especially soul-stirring story with this latest dish.

Known for weaving the sensory aromas of food into her plotlines, Reichert doesn’t disappoint. In this story, she delivers a loveable protagonist who tackles her newfound widow status by operating a trendy food truck. Brownies, grilled cheese, and plenty of pierogis emerge from the pages of this tale along with many secrets and lies that surface throughout this family’s narrative.

This book will delight anyone who has a mother, a sister, or a daughter, and anyone who identifies with one of those roles. Likewise, this story is for anyone who has ever suffered loss, or longed for answers, or clung to hope that love will find a way.

In other words, this story is for everyone who has a heart—especially if it’s been broken a time or two.

If you aren’t already a fan of Amy E. Reichert, you will be after reading The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go. And then you’ll want to head straight to the shelves for a second helping of sentimentality, of which you’ll find plenty in her first three novels.

The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go is now available for purchase.


Amy E. Reichert is the author of THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE (Gallery / Simon & Schuster, summer 2015) and LUCK, LOVE & LEMON PIE (2016). She earned her MA in Literature from Marquette University, and honed her writing and editing skills as a technical writer (which is exactly as exciting as it sounds). As a newly minted member of the local library board, she loves helping readers find new books to love. She’s a life-long Wisconsin resident with (allegedly) a very noticeable accent, a patient husband, and two too-smart-for-their-own-good kids. When time allows, she loves to read, collect more cookbooks than she could possibly use, and test the limits of her DVR.

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Julie Cantrell
Julie Cantrell is an award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling novelist whose work focuses on relationships and resilience. As a writer, teacher, and TEDx presenter, she aims to build empathy and connection while inspiring others to live their best life. Her debut novel, Into the Free, earned a starred review by Publishers Weekly, the Mississippi Library Association’s Fiction Award, and the Christy Award Book of the Year. It also was named a Best Read of 2012 by USA TODAY, while becoming an international bestseller. The sequel, When Mountains Move, was named a 2013 Best Read by USA TODAY, a finalist for numerous awards, and winner of the Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Her third novel, The Feathered Bone was selected as an Okra Pick by SIBA and Book of the Year by Pulpwood Queens. A finalist for three literary awards, including the Southern Book Prize, it won the Carol Award for Contemporary Fiction and earned a starred review by Library Journal, who also named it a Best Book of 2016. Perennials, her fourth novel, has been recognized as a top read of 2017 by Redbook Magazine, Southern Living Magazine, REAL SIMPLE, and USA TODAY HEA. In addition to receiving praise from Publishers Weekly and CBA Market Magazine, Perennials also has been named a Top Pick by RT Reviews and an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. A certified speech-language pathologist, naturalist, and previous organic farmer, Cantrell has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review. She is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship as well as the Mary Elizabeth Nelson Fellowship at Rivendell Writers’ Colony, and she was named a 2017 finalist for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction Award. A mother of two, Julie writes from her home in Oxford, Mississippi.