Heidi is trying to do it all every day, including propose to her girlfriend on the day of the Lilac Festival. But her kids’ schedules, her contentious relationship with her ex-husband, and Heidi running late all threaten to derail her day. Nothing goes as Heidi wished it would and then her proposal is rejected.
Heidi gets caught not watching where she is going, which leads to her being helped by a woman she doesn’t know, but feels she should. And the woman is definitely someone Heidi wants to spend more time with. But Heidi’s one wish is to be able to do the day over again. This sends her on a seemingly endless loop of reliving the day where Heidi can make new choices. Each day gives Heidi another chance to steer things in a different direction and make her life work better, and that could include finding her own love story in the process.
The most recognized “reliving the day” story for me is the movie Groundhog Day and Every Time We Meet does seem to draw at least some inspiration from that story. When Heidi wakes up on day one, she is already running late. She has plans to propose to her girlfriend at the Lilac Festival and things are off from the moment she opens her eyes. The book then progresses through many passes of Heidi reliving almost the same day trying to get it right.
Here’s the issue I had with this book. I did not care for the way Heidi was portrayed and I felt like it wasn’t even her fault, but rather the story she was put in. Heidi had her first child at 18 and married her high school boyfriend. They went on to have two more kids and then their marriage fell apart and her ex is now remarried with a new baby. Everything was made out to be Heidi’s fault. She was chastised for being disorganized and late and all the things that went wrong that day were put down to Heidi being a mess and not having it together. While working full time, she was supposed to do all the scheduling for the kids while letting her ex know with plenty of time what help she needed, and when and if he could fit it into his schedule to help, he would. She was also supposed to somehow bond with the new wife who was shown to have nothing but contempt for Heidi. Now, of course there were areas Heidi could make improvements, but having every single thing be her fault every day was way way too much.
The story also got a little repetitive as she was reliving the day nine times that we were shown. The basic premise stayed the same with Heidi making visible changes along the way, but one key player in Heidi’s story changed every day and that didn’t work for me at all. At the end, it wasn’t helpful to the story or clear for me what Heidi was supposed to learn from having a different person step into this role each day.
I would not consider this book a romance and although there are some romantic elements to Heidi figuring out a relationship for herself, it’s all seen in glimpses and there is no true relationship development.
The premise of Every Time We Meet intrigued me from the start, but the execution didn’t have the same follow through.