THE PECULIAR FATE OF HOLLY BANKS
Village of Primm Book #2
A wife, mother, and aspiring filmmaker clings to the pursuit of perfection only to have fate play with every plan she’s made in this quirky, contemplative, and empowering novel.
Holly Banks is on a desperate mission to have it all, but nothing in life goes according to plan. She’s quickly learning that keeping up with the Joneses is a full-time job, especially when the women of Primm, her new neighborhood, seem to have it together all the time.
With her husband’s job in flux, her daughter’s difficulty with learning to read, and her mother’s new zest for dating, Holly’s life is already anything but picture perfect. Then her dog digs up an old artifact in the village center, and the mishap draws the attention of local media. Because of course it would.
Holly finds herself at the center of a mystery between two rival towns that, if solved, could change the Village of Primm forever. Attention is the last thing she needs as she’s launching a new business, the village-wide “Parade of Homes” is approaching—though she’s hardly unpacked—and she needs to submit her entry for an upcoming film festival. Can Holly still create her perfect (looking) life? Or is fate about to go off script and give her a story she never could have imagined?
Holly Banks Full of Angst
Village of Primm Book #1
The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks
Secrets, mystery, and the pursuit of perfection. Welcome to the Village of Primm.
THE PECULIAR FATE OF HOLLY BANKS by Julie Valerie
With a fledgling career, a home on the Enclave Tour, and a kindergarten wedding to plan, Holly doesn’t really have time for another Village of Primm mystery. But then her chocolate lab, Struggle, digs up a tarnished piece of metal meant to accompany an astrolabe, an ancient navigational device. Struggle is hailed as a town celebrity and the search continues for the rest of the astrolabe’s components, but the hunt reignites a longstanding dispute over the town’s natural resources. Holly doesn’t share Struggle’s gift for digging, but she throws herself into the mystery as a favor to her neighbors, and before long she must answer the question, What’s worth fighting for? With the same chaotic-but-well-meaning energy of Sophie Kinsella’s Becky Bloomwood, Holly does her darndest to keep everything afloat. Picking up where Valerie’s first novel, Holly Banks Full of Angst (2019), left off, this will fit right in with loyal Kinsella readers, fans of Tom Perotta’s Mrs. Fletcher (2017), and those who enjoyed the suburban intrigue of the Netflix show Dead to Me.
THE PECULIAR FATE OF HOLLY BANKS by Julie Valerie
In Valerie’s (Holly Banks Full of Angst) latest, Holly Banks is back, and she’s still struggling to keep up with the Joneses, or rather, the Pinterest-perfect moms of the Village of Primm. Holly is juggling helping her kindergartener daughter, Ella, learn to read and maintain her numerous school activities; keeping track of her mother Greta’s dating life; and trying to find a use for her film degree. Maintaining status quo is nearly impossible, but Holly also becomes entangled in a plan to revitalize the village after she, albeit inadvertently, helped destroy its number-one tourist attraction the last time we saw her. Meanwhile, her Labrador, Struggle, digs up a piece of history that could solve a major historic debate between Primm and the next town over.
VERDICT Valerie combines laugh-out-loud situations with heart as Holly navigates her newest challenges. She takes a deep look at the people behind the social media posts and the struggles that everyone, even the seemingly perfect, faces daily. Recommended for those who enjoy reading about relatable heroines and parents who are trying to have it all.
“Both down to earth and beautifully surreal, Holly Banks’s latest adventure is a story about courage, family, and friendship that had me hooked from the very first page.”
“Sometimes there comes a special book or series that will engage your imagination so well that the characters become friends as dear to you as anyone in real life. Characters such as Anne Shirley, Elizabeth Bennet, Bella Swann and Anastasia Steele. This is the case with Julie Valerie’s main character, Holly Banks.”
“With quick-witted dialogue, plenty of sarcasm, and both ridiculous and heartwarming moments, The Peculiar Fate of Holly Banks had lots of aspects of Julie’s debut novel that I loved, but it also allowed Holly to evolve and experience a lot of personal growth. . . . Whether laughing or crying (seriously, have the tissues ready because there are some heart-wrenching and heartwarming moments), this book tugged at my heartstrings as Holly navigated an array of challenges, and reaffirmed that Holly Banks is definitely one of my favorite book moms. She’s relatable, flawed, and full of heart, and I can’t help but see a lot of her in myself, especially in the way she loves her daughter, Ella.”
“What a delightful time I’ve had, returning to the Village of Primm! Author Julie Valerie has brought us back to spend time with Holly Banks in this uplifting, funny, and poignant sequel to Holly Banks Full of Angst. This is a heartfelt book about community, motherhood, friendships, fate, luck, and figuring out what is worth fighting for. There were so many scenes I laughed out loud—the humor in this book is sharp and clever. There were other scenes that were quiet and thoughtful. Whether I was chuckling along with the antics of the dog, captivated by the cuteness of Ella the kindergartner, or commiserating with Holly’s struggles, my heart was always involved.”
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