Once Upon a Sunset
publication: March 3rd 2020 by Gallery Books
Diana Gallagher-Cary is at a tipping point. As a Washington, DC, OB/GYN at a prestigious hospital, she uses her career to distract herself from her grief over her granny’s death and her breakup from her long-term boyfriend after her free-spirited mother moves in with her. But when she makes a medical decision that disparages the hospital, she is forced to go on a short sabbatical.
Never one to wallow, Diana decides to use the break to put order in her life, when her mother, Margo, stumbles upon a box of letters from her grandfather, Antonio Cruz, to her grandmother from the 1940s. The two women always believed that Antonio died in World War II, but the letters reveal otherwise. When they learn that he lived through the war, and that they have surviving relatives in the Philippines, Diana becomes determined to connect with the family that she never knew existed, though Margo refuses to face her history. But Diana pushes on, and heads on a once-in-a-lifetime trip that challenges her identity, family history, and her idea of romantic love that could change her life forever.
Infused with Tif Marcelo’s signature “sexy, adorable, and heartfelt” (Kate Meader, USA TODAY bestselling author) voice, Once Upon a Sunset is a moving and lyrical celebration of love, family, and second chances.
Two strong, independent, successful women have their lives turned upside down and travel to the Philippines with the hopes of finding relatives that they never knew they had. Diana and Margo have a wonderful and realistic daughter/mother relationship. While Diana works as an OBGYN, coming home to her dog and a house under renovations, Margo is retired and has many followers on Instagram. They live together, argue like mother/daughters do, but they also support and love each other without any questions.
As Diana follows her heart and tries to learn more about a grandfather she never knew she ends up learning more about herself. She opens herself up to new adventures, new family members, and new relationships. Diana doesn’t push the friends she has away, she instead embraces their support and looks to them for advice as she moves forward in her life. I am in awe of how strong she is, even when she is stumbling, and how much she is willing to push herself out of her comfort zone to find the answers that she really wants.
Margo is more cautious. While she lives a fun retired lifestyle, she is cautious about opening up a history that is not what she expected or was told. She is not sure that knowing about her father, who she was told died long before he did, is something that she is willing to open her heart to. Her amazing friends, who are working on their combined bucket-list, support her and push her to find out about her past and be there for her daughter.
Once Upon a Sunset is the second book by Tif Marcelo that I have read and I am excited to see what she writes next. With each of her books I have met amazing characters, been introduced to wonderful settings, and read a perfect story.
** Thank you Bianca Salvant, Marketing Manager at GalleryBooks and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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