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Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite
Ladybird Adrift by Alison Downs will romance the reader with unexpected love between Claudia "Ladybird" Johnson and Victor Raines. As an unskilled worker, Claudia finds a job at The Met after many months of searching. Winning a raffle at work, she finally gets to sit in on one of the Opera shows, only to sit by Victor. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start but progresses into a sweet romance and marriage. The story then shifts its focus to Victor, who discovers he has a degenerative disease that changes their relationship, but never Claudia's love for him. The author has a gift of breathing life into her characters, and you stand with Claudia as she wonders if she can make the decisions Victor needs when the time comes.
Alison Downs steps away from her usual genre and amazes her readers with a heart-wrenching romance. Ladybird Adrift is a book that hooks you with authentic characters that live with the same hopes, fears, and dreams as we do, then slowly snatches away the familiar. The story takes place over years of Victor's deteriorating disease, but the reader feels they never had enough time. This captivating novel makes you hope where there is no hope, cry over dreams never fulfilled, and be thankful you have lived this story with them. The story doesn't give definite time and years, but focuses on the events that shaped their lives and decisions. I finished this book with a new admiration for caregivers of those with deteriorating diseases.