cover image Dear Henry, Love Edith

Dear Henry, Love Edith

Becca Kinzer. Tyndale House, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-496-46608-2

Kinzer debuts with a charming rom-com that follows two 30-something housemates as they fall in love despite a case of mistaken identity. After a suffocating marriage that ended in her husband’s early death, newly widowed Edith is determined to reclaim a life of adventure. Edith, a nurse, plans to volunteer at a hospital in South Africa, but first heads to small-town Westshire, Ill., to volunteer at a crisis nursery. There, Henry, a lonely contractor who’s recently injured his knee, is persuaded by his niece to temporarily house Edith, falsely assuming the “sweet old widow” who’ll be living upstairs is elderly. Edith, meanwhile, thinks the same of Henry, especially after learning the bachelor “hasn’t been able to climb the stairs for some time.” Conflicting physical therapy and volunteer schedules prevent the two from meeting for weeks, though they exchange increasingly vulnerable notes left on Henry’s kitchen table, and unknowingly run into one another around town. Hijinks revolving around the couple escalate, aided by gossipy locals and the arrival of Edith’s late husband’s brother, who, in a strange twist, starts stalking Edith. But when Edith finally meets Henry, she must decide whether to pursue a life of service in South Africa or seek fulfillment closer to home. Though the novel struggles to maintain momentum, readers will root for this salt-of-the-earth couple and their small-town romance. This lighthearted jaunt checks all the boxes readers will expect. (Jan.)