Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Book Review for When Jasmine Blooms by Tif Marcelo

 When Jasmine Blooms by Tif Marcelo

334 pages, Paperback

Publication April 11, 2023


Taken from Goodreads:  From USA Today bestselling author Tif Marcelo comes a timeless tale of motherhood inspired by Little Women about one woman’s grief, hope, and second chance with the daughter she lost.

It’s been two years since Celine lost her daughter Libby. Desperate to escape her grief, Celine throws herself into her work, determined to be the strong, capable woman the world believes her to be. But there’s no fooling her family.

A shocking intervention brings an impossible choice: confront her grief or risk losing the family she still has. Reeling, Celine wonders what her life would have been like if she’d chosen her first love instead of her husband and avoided this pain altogether.

Celine wakes the following day and is shocked to realize that what-if has become reality. She’s with her high school sweetheart, her daughters aren’t quite her daughters, and her home is being rented by the daughter she thought she’d lost forever.

As she reconnects with Libby in this parallel world, Celine is forced to face the problems in her real life: her unwillingness to move forward, the tension that’s always rocked her family, and the hard truth that not everything can be fixed by a mother’s love.



My Thoughts: 
If I was not a fan of Tif Marcelo before I read When Jasmine Blooms, I would be a fan now.    This book is one of my top books of 2023.  The characters were unique, not always likable.   The storyline was one that pulled me in from the very beginning and never let me go.  There were so many times that I was worried that there would be a hole in the story but Tif Marcelo knew exactly how to pull it all together and move seamlessly between the real Celine life and the what-if Celine life. 



What a unique story! What-if…. What if you married someone else?  What would you life look like?  Would you have kids?  Live in the same place?   This is that story.   I could not put this book down.  Celine was not always likable.  She was a workaholic, she had disconnected from her family, and she was not taking care of herself.  She also had lived a mother’s worse nightmare.   


I was happy that the book did not go back and forth.  We start in real-world Celine and then go to what-if Celine seamlessly.     The middle of the book was entirely what-of Celine and we stayed there for a long while. I like that in that world, Celine still knew what her other option was.  She could see what she would be missing out if she had made different choices.   I enjoyed watching her realize what she would have missed if she had made different choices.


Tif Marcelo is an author I recommend often.   All of her books are amazing.   Jasmine in Bloom is a must-read.  


Thank you Tif Marcelo, author, and Lake Union Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Add to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads

Purchase your own copy on Amazon


Meet Tif Marcelo (taken from her website):

Tif Marcelo is a veteran US Army nurse and holds a BS in Nursing and a Master’s in public administration. She believes and writes about the strength of families, the endurance of friendship, heartfelt romances, and is inspired daily by her own military hero husband and four children. She hosts The Stories to Love Podcast, and is the USA Today bestselling author of In a Book Club Far AwayOnce Upon a SunsetThe Key to Happily Ever After, which was a Target Diverse Book Club pick, The Holiday Switch, and the Heart Resort and Journey to the Heart series. She and her books have been featured in The Today Show, Shondaland, Real Simple Magazine, The Asian Journal and more!






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