St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets
IF YOU LOVE SUSAN MALLERY AND JILL SHALVIS, YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS THIS NEW NOVEL OF SECOND CHANCES, DOGS, AND KNITTING, FROM THE AUTHOR OF 'PUPCAKES' AND 'SIT! STAY! SPEAK!'Laid off, cheated on, mugged: what else can go wrong in Maeve Stephens' life? So, when she learns her birth mother has left her a house, a vintage VW Beetle, and a marauding cat, in the small town of Timber Creek, Washington, she packs up to discover the truth about her past.She arrives to the sight of a cheerful bulldog abandoned on her front porch, a reclusive but tempting author living next door, and a set of ready-made friends at the St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets, where women knit colorful sweaters for the dogs and cats in their care. But there's also an undercurrent of something that doesn't sit right with Maeve. What's the secret (besides her!) that her mother had hidden?If Maeve is going to make Timber Creek her home, she must figure out where she fits in and unravel the truth about her past. But is she ready to be adopted again - this time, by and entire town. . .?©2020 Annie England Noblin (P)2020 HarperAudio

St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets Details

TitleSt. Francis Society for Wayward Pets
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 14th, 2020
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062748324
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance, Womens Fiction, Animals

St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets Review

  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:Your kids ought to be on a birth control commercial or something… I’m pretty sure their high-pitched shrieks would be enough for anybody to beg for the pill.I made a big production of rummaging around in my purse before Holly sighed and handed over her platinum card… “Well, it wasn’t like that dude was going to accept the hairy Tic Tacs in the bottom of that gross purse of yours...” The man standing before wasn’t ugly or anything-he was just... odd looking. With his curly red Favorite Quotes:Your kids ought to be on a birth control commercial or something… I’m pretty sure their high-pitched shrieks would be enough for anybody to beg for the pill.I made a big production of rummaging around in my purse before Holly sighed and handed over her platinum card… “Well, it wasn’t like that dude was going to accept the hairy Tic Tacs in the bottom of that gross purse of yours...” The man standing before wasn’t ugly or anything-he was just... odd looking. With his curly red hair and smattering of freckles combined with his crisp black suit, he looked a bit like how I imagined Carrot Top would have looked if he’d picked a nine-to-five job instead of steroid use.Well, her father is about fifteen pounds of crazy in a five-pound bucket.My Review:I adore this author and always enjoy and revel in her emotive and heart-squeezing tales, clever wit, engaging storylines, and insightful observations of complex social issues. Annie England Noblin is a master storyteller and St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets deftly tackled a variety of thorny and unfortunately all too common situations and did so with agility, thoughtful awareness, and profound sensitivity for such complicated issues as family violence, addiction, adoption and identify issues, teenage pregnancy, poverty, physical disability, and small-town living. The characters were curiously compelling, quirky, well fleshed out, and highly accessible though not always likable. The well-crafted storylines were easy to follow, thoughtfully written, unpredictable, and squeezed my heart between giggle-snorts and smirks with the various threads miraculously came together to form an uplifting and highly satisfying conclusion. I am already eager to see what Ms. Noblin comes up with next.
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  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    January 1, 1970
    This book isn't really about what you'd think from the title or cover. It's about a woman named Maeve who finally learns her origin story when her birth mother dies. There is a tiny bit of romance, a tiny bit of danger, and a tiny bit about pets. But the St Francis Society is pretty minor. I had an early copy of this from the publisher through NetGalley; it comes out January 14, 2020.
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  • Jessica *The Lovely Books*
    January 1, 1970
    Immediate connections to characters are a huge thing for me when it comes to reading. If I can’t connect to a character, then ninety nine percent of the time I won’t like it. I’m happy to say that’s not the case here. I immediately connected to Mae as she navigated throw some tough changes in her life. She’s reeling from a very public humiliation and her birth mother just passed away. “Maybe I wasn’t looking at my visit to Timber Creek the right way. Maybe it was an opportunity. Maybe I was Immediate connections to characters are a huge thing for me when it comes to reading. If I can’t connect to a character, then ninety nine percent of the time I won’t like it. I’m happy to say that’s not the case here. I immediately connected to Mae as she navigated throw some tough changes in her life. She’s reeling from a very public humiliation and her birth mother just passed away. “Maybe I wasn’t looking at my visit to Timber Creek the right way. Maybe it was an opportunity. Maybe I was being given a chance to start over in a new place.“What starts as a closure for Mae for the mother she felt never wanted to know her—begins a story of love, secrets, and ultimately finding family in the most unlikely places. I loved that the story goes into Annabelle’s past. We grow to understand all the whys and the hows of her life. Mae will finally earn some much needed answers. Things really started to pick up for me once Mae decides to stick around in her mother’s hometown and where she was left with everything Annabelle owned. That included a house, car, some money, and a cool group of women in a knitting club. I thought that I would be getting a light-hearted read about a woman who finds herself after a bad breakup. What I got instead was something much deeper and meaningful that I couldn’t help but tear up. Adored this to the moon and back!*Thank you to the publisher for sending a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are subjective but my own.
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  • Mikaela (Booklover1974)
    January 1, 1970
    I can't write a fair review because I dnfed it. The protagonist, Maeve, didn't seem to know she was 36 years old... She behaved like she still was 16. I don't have the energy to read about one more adult woman who is so immature that my 16 old son looks like an adult, in comparison.
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  • Trish
    January 1, 1970
    When St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets begins, Maeve Stephens has hit rock bottom. She has broken up with her cheating boyfriend, been laid off from her job, and mugged. Surprise word comes that her birth mother, whom she has never met, passed away. At the funeral, Maeve finds that her birth mother, Annabelle, left her house, vintage VW, and all her belongings to her. Maeve stays in the small Washington state town where Annabelle lived to try to sort things out, and slowly her life changes. When St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets begins, Maeve Stephens has hit rock bottom. She has broken up with her cheating boyfriend, been laid off from her job, and mugged. Surprise word comes that her birth mother, whom she has never met, passed away. At the funeral, Maeve finds that her birth mother, Annabelle, left her house, vintage VW, and all her belongings to her. Maeve stays in the small Washington state town where Annabelle lived to try to sort things out, and slowly her life changes. She meets new friends, an intriguing man, a group of ladies who knit sweaters for pets, and a cat and dog who claim her.I wanted to read this novel because I am a great animal lover and the title and adorable cover art intrigued me. I also previously read and reviewed the author's book Just Fine With Caroline and liked it very much.I absolutely adored St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets! I loved the small town setting that readers get to experience along with Maeve. It is a quirky little place with a lot of interesting characters.The book is told both from the viewpoint of Maeve and also of her birth mother Annabelle during her teen years in the 1980's. I was initially mostly interested in Maeve's story, but over time Annabelle's story really captured my interest too. The author does a good job at delineating these different (and similar!) characters.Maeve is a character I really liked. She is at a place in her late 30's where she is reevaluating her life and trying to decide what comes next. It was heartwarming to see how she grew as a person in this book. I enjoyed the friendships she made and especially the tenuous bond she struck with Abel, an author living in the little town and dealing with his own sadness.I loved the pet rescue storyline in this book and enjoyed all the scenes with Sherbet the cat and Happy the dog. Maeve observes Happy:"Still, she didn't seem to hold any of that against people the way I probably would have. There were clearly some things that scared her - like car rides and storms - but after the offending event was over, she was back to her old self, and I thought that humans could probably learn a lot from dogs" (p. 301).I will admit that I was curious as I went through the book about what the St. Francis Society was. It was mentioned often but not really explored until Chapter 20. I won't say more because of spoilers, but it is pivotal to the plot and there are twists and more twists that reminded me a bit of This Is Us.I wholeheartedly recommend St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets for fans of women's fiction, small town fiction, knitting, pet rescue, and heartwarming storytelling.
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Loved every minute of this sweet book!!!
  • JG
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked the story line and the character development. The town of Timber Creek, the setting for most of the story, and the townspeople seems a character on its own. This book was able to present a lot of social issues within the context of Maeve and Annabelle’s relationship/s without becoming to heavy handed. Although there were a lot of hanging plot lines that I hope the final draft can address fully. I’m hoping there will be more written about the St. Francis Society and the town of I really liked the story line and the character development. The town of Timber Creek, the setting for most of the story, and the townspeople seems a character on its own. This book was able to present a lot of social issues within the context of Maeve and Annabelle’s relationship/s without becoming to heavy handed. Although there were a lot of hanging plot lines that I hope the final draft can address fully. I’m hoping there will be more written about the St. Francis Society and the town of Timber Creek.
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  • Lesa
    January 1, 1970
    When someone feels lost, it seems as if everyone else in the world has a perfect life. It takes Maeve Stephens thirty-six years to discover she's not alone in Annie England Noblin's latest novel, St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets.Maeve tells her own story. She doesn't think it can get any worse. In one day, the thirty-six-year-old sports reporter loses her job because the newspaper where she works goes bankrupt. She and the rest of the world see her boyfriend from the Seattle Mariners When someone feels lost, it seems as if everyone else in the world has a perfect life. It takes Maeve Stephens thirty-six years to discover she's not alone in Annie England Noblin's latest novel, St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets.Maeve tells her own story. She doesn't think it can get any worse. In one day, the thirty-six-year-old sports reporter loses her job because the newspaper where she works goes bankrupt. She and the rest of the world see her boyfriend from the Seattle Mariners cheating on her on a video, and she's mugged on the way to her car. Of course, the world has a way of beating you down. She receives a phone call from a woman named Alice telling her that her birth mother, Annabelle, has died.Maeve knows her parents, the Stephens, wanted her when they adopted her as an infant. And, they wanted her brother, Eli, who is several years younger. But, despite his rough past, Eli grew up to be a dentist, have a successful marriage, and two children. What does Maeve have in life? No job, no successful relationship, and a car that is dying. So, why not show up for the funeral of a woman she never knew?But, everyone in Timber Creek, Washington knew Annabelle. She was Alice's best friend. She was a member of a small group of women in the St. Francis Society. And, she took in stray animals. She also left everything to Maeve, including a small house and an incorrigible cat who immediately falls for Maeve. Then there's the man who believes Maeve will take in animals, a man with a bulldog he can no longer keep. Maeve's terrified. She's never been able to keep anything alive, and she's not sure she'll keep the house. But, something about the small town that loved her mother attracts her. While Maeve relates most of the story, Noblin inserts chapters in which the reader sees a younger Annabelle. While Maeve was raised in a loving household, and felt out of place, Annabelle lost her parents at a young age, and it was Alice's family that took her in. But, just because someone has a place to sleep doesn't mean it's a safe environment.Over the course of the story, Maeve learns about the people of Timber Creek, about her mother, and about broken lives. It takes time for Maeve to discover that everyone has a life broken in some way.Noblin has created a cast of fascinating characters, from Annabelle and Maeve and Alice, to the mysterious writer down the street. And, appearances can be deceiving, as Maeve discovers. But, I did feel as if the author waited too long to explain the purpose of the St. Francis Society. And, while Annabelle's story was given a satisfactory ending, it felt as if Maeve's was unfinished. Despite the few flaws, I'd recommend St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets. The characters and their stories stand out in this book, and I'll look for Noblin's future novels.
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  • Really Into This
    January 1, 1970
    Bianca contributed this review to Really Into ThisCheck out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.comHappy Reading, friends!Special thanks to TLC Book Tours & William Morrow for providing our copy of St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin in exchange for an honest & fair review.Maeve is Seattle-based sportswriter with a Major League Baseball boyfriend. But when her career and relationship come screeching to a halt, the future seems bleak. When Maeve gets a Bianca contributed this review to Really Into ThisCheck out all of our reviews at https://reallyintothis.comHappy Reading, friends!Special thanks to TLC Book Tours & William Morrow for providing our copy of  St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin in exchange for an honest & fair review.Maeve is Seattle-based sportswriter with a Major League Baseball boyfriend. But when her career and relationship come screeching to a halt, the future seems bleak. When Maeve gets a phone call from a stranger, it may open the door to a new life.WORST. DAY. EVER.So, sports may not be her passion, but Maeve loves being a journalist. As a sportswriter with a famous boyfriend (Go Mariners!), she's gained insider access to interviews and parties. But, when a YouTube video goes viral - Maeve finds out (along with the rest of Seattle) that she's been cheated on.If that isn't embarrassing enough, her job disappears that very same day. The newspaper is out of business - pack your belongings. And, to top off the day, she gets mugged on her way home! Can life get any worse?A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANEMaeve has always known she was adopted. That nagging question, "why didn't my mother want me?" haunts Maeve to this day. When she was 16, she tried writing to her birth mother, but all the letters came back.Old wounds are opened when a strange woman calls Maeve letting her know her birth mother, Annabelle, has passed away. But, with this also comes an opportunity to peek into the life of the woman who gave her birth. The first person she could ever say she's related to. But, will she find the answers she's been looking for?NEW TOWN, NEW LIFE?When Maeve shows up in Timber Creek for the funeral service, she has no idea what to expect. What's more, she has no intention of staying. Cajoled into staying a bit longer, she learns Annabelle has left her a house, a car, and a rascal cat!Meeting her mother's friends, including the St. Francis Society knitting club, Maeve wants to uncover more of her past. Timber Creek may not be as sleepy and boring a town as it initially seemed. And what of  that handsome, somewhat reclusive writer catches her eye? Maybe a change of scenery from Seattle is just what Maeve needs.THE VERDICTI am really into this book! Noblin winds us through the past, and also sets us squarely in the present. This story has it all - emotion, romance, cute animals, knitting, and self-discovery. St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin is a complex story confronting what it means to be adopted and how to find a sense of place. So charming, you'll be wagging your tail for more!
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t pre-order a lot of books but this author is one whose books I do. I learned when I read Pupcakes how enjoyable her books are. Then I read The Sisters Hemingway and loved it too. So, this book deserved a pre-order. And of course, here I am having finished the book in less than 24 hours. I got pulled in and I didn’t want to put it down.Mauve was raised by a loving family. She’s had a good life. But she’s 36 and it doesn’t really feel like she knows exactly what she wants yet. She finds out I don’t pre-order a lot of books but this author is one whose books I do. I learned when I read Pupcakes how enjoyable her books are. Then I read The Sisters Hemingway and loved it too. So, this book deserved a pre-order. And of course, here I am having finished the book in less than 24 hours. I got pulled in and I didn’t want to put it down.Mauve was raised by a loving family. She’s had a good life. But she’s 36 and it doesn’t really feel like she knows exactly what she wants yet. She finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, she loses her job the same day and she moves back in with her parents. Have you read a book that starts like that before? Of course you have. I know I have. But don’t let the familiar start dissuade you.Mauve gets a call from a stranger saying that her birth mother Annabelle has passed away. Mauve never met her birth mother. She felt like she’d been given up and forgotten. She grew up with wonderful parents. So, she hasn’t dwelled on the past much.But she decides to go home for her birth mother’s funeral and finds out Annabelle named her as the sole beneficiary. This even includes her cat.She is confused by this but she doesn’t have much waiting for her at home. So she decides to stay for awhile. She’s pulled into Annabelle’s world. Everyone has a story for her.There’s also a somewhat mysterious knitting group that everyone seems to be a member of. You know there’s something covert happening behind the knitting group’s surface. I was excited to find out what it was a cover for and I loved the answer.I think Annabelle sounded like quite a lady herself and I’m glad she got a few chapters of her own in this book.Great characters. Cute animals. Heart warming story. Loved it. And as a bonus the love interest Abel made me think of Josh Holloway.
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  • Phyllis Krall
    January 1, 1970
    A feel good story about a woman’s search for herself after she discovers her birth mother has died. Sprinkled with humor and romance, a small town brings meaning to Maeve’s life when Her life is at a standstill.It seems as everything is going wrong in Maeve’s life when she discovers that her birth mother who she has never met has died. She is invited to the funeral by her mother’s best friend and travels to the small town of Timber Creek , Washington. Maeve is determined to find out why her A feel good story about a woman’s search for herself after she discovers her birth mother has died. Sprinkled with humor and romance, a small town brings meaning to Maeve’s life when Her life is at a standstill.It seems as everything is going wrong in Maeve’s life when she discovers that her birth mother who she has never met has died. She is invited to the funeral by her mother’s best friend and travels to the small town of Timber Creek , Washington. Maeve is determined to find out why her mother, Annabelle, never answered her letters as well as uncovering the mystery of her birth. When she gets there, she discovers that her mother has left her home and everything in it to her. She moves into the house and unravels the secrets of her past, as she discovers who her mother really was. Maeve eventuality becomes a member of the St. Francis Society, learning to knit sweaters fit the animals in town as well as her own dog that she adopts. I really enjoyed this heartwarming story that I received from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. It was an entertaining read that I recommend.
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  • Annarella
    January 1, 1970
    I fell in love with the cover and I liked this story even if I was expecting more pets.It's a heartwarming and poignant story, engrossing and enjoyable.You cannot help loving the characters and rooting for them.The plot is well crafted and it kept me hooked, the setting is lovely and I appreciated the style of writing.It was a good read, recommended.Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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  • Michele
    January 1, 1970
    reaaaaaly thought there would be more animals with that cover and title but the society is more about knitting for pets than actually interacting with pets. plus some other stuff that i will not say for spoiler-y reasons. the characters and plot and romance were all fine, nothing amazing really. it was good. would be a nice summer beach read. thanks to the publisher for an ARC, this is my honest review.
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  • Savannah Hendricks
    January 1, 1970
    This book reminded me of a Debbie Macomber book. I rushed to reach each chapter and enjoyed the backstory of Annabelle. I will agree with other reviewers about the title not really matching the overall story, but it shouldn't stop anyone from reading this gem.
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  • Cari
    January 1, 1970
    My review will appear in Booklist! A charming novel, although it deals with heavy topics at times. Love the narrator.
  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    The book is okay, not great, but okay. The author did not seem to have an inspired grasp on her characters. Maeve is 36 years old; even though she has had a good life, she seems to lack maturity and seems to handle her emotions and feelings the way a teenage girl would, with very little grace and awareness of how other people around her feel. The first third was not bad, the middle seemed a bit contrived and the last part seemed to introduce an additional plot that had not been alluded to in the The book is okay, not great, but okay. The author did not seem to have an inspired grasp on her characters. Maeve is 36 years old; even though she has had a good life, she seems to lack maturity and seems to handle her emotions and feelings the way a teenage girl would, with very little grace and awareness of how other people around her feel. The first third was not bad, the middle seemed a bit contrived and the last part seemed to introduce an additional plot that had not been alluded to in the earlier parts of the book. Not a bad book, just a bland main character, an incomplete plot and an adequate writing style. The character of Alice could have been more fully developed - she was an interesting individual.I received an ARC from NetGalley, in exchange for a review.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    A quick and sweet story.
  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    From the cover and the description of this book I thought the plot would involve more animals. The cover is very cute and will certainly grab the attention of animal lovers, but it does feel misleading after reading the book. The story mainly focuses on Maeve's unresolved feelings about her birth mother putting her up for adoption. The chapters switch back and forth between Maeve in present day and her mother in the year before Maeve's birth. Although this is a light and easy read, the author From the cover and the description of this book I thought the plot would involve more animals. The cover is very cute and will certainly grab the attention of animal lovers, but it does feel misleading after reading the book. The story mainly focuses on Maeve's unresolved feelings about her birth mother putting her up for adoption. The chapters switch back and forth between Maeve in present day and her mother in the year before Maeve's birth. Although this is a light and easy read, the author tried to infuse too much emotional angst that ultimately fell flat. Maeve is a 36-year-old woman but she often handles her emotions and feelings the way a 16-year-old girl would; that is, with immaturity and a distinct lack of grace. She is utterly unconvincing as a mature, adult woman. I found I had no connection with her, nor with any of the other characters in the book. Everything lacked that certain spark that propels me to keep turning the pages. Not a bad book, just very bland in character, plot, and writing style. Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Ruth
    January 1, 1970
    This book isn't one of my typical genre choices but that cover with the upside down Boston Terrier screamed READ ME--you'll be glad you did. I did and it made me smile. Ever have one of those really horrible, awful days--the kind where you lose a job, you find out your significant other isn't who you thought, and you get mugged before you can get home to cry? This book starts out with one of those really bad days but turns out that it just paved the way for a much better life that couldn't have This book isn't one of my typical genre choices but that cover with the upside down Boston Terrier screamed READ ME--you'll be glad you did. I did and it made me smile. Ever have one of those really horrible, awful days--the kind where you lose a job, you find out your significant other isn't who you thought, and you get mugged before you can get home to cry? This book starts out with one of those really bad days but turns out that it just paved the way for a much better life that couldn't have happened otherwise. Serendipity. This sweet novel is full of that, plus great new friends, a new love and a new understanding that what appear to be faults are just interesting character traits. We all have them.
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  • Ally
    January 1, 1970
    overall a nice book that is a relatively easy read. the main character was interesting and multi dimensional, but the pacing of the book felt a little off. and there seemed to be almost too many storylines or characters as some of the supporting cast are not fleshed out as well as maeve. i liked getting the flashbacks to maeve's birth mother's thoughts during the time maeve was conceived - it gave a sense of her character and made the present situation more understandable. 3.5 stars
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  • Marlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published at Reading RealityThis isn’t quite the book I was expecting from the blurb. It was much better than that.On the surface, this looked like a story about second chances. And it is. But not all of those second chances belong to Maeve, the main character of this story. And some of those second chances are in the past and not the present. Or they are an unexpected and unknown present, in the other sense of the word. The present that doesn’t look like a present, the gift that Originally published at Reading RealityThis isn’t quite the book I was expecting from the blurb. It was much better than that.On the surface, this looked like a story about second chances. And it is. But not all of those second chances belong to Maeve, the main character of this story. And some of those second chances are in the past and not the present. Or they are an unexpected and unknown present, in the other sense of the word. The present that doesn’t look like a present, the gift that Annabelle gave her daughter when she gave Maeve up for adoption.A chance for a better life than Annabelle expected for herself – and a much better life than she could have given her daughter if she’d kept her.But Maeve knows nothing of that past when she comes to tiny Timber Creek to attend her birth mother’s funeral. All she knows is that the woman gave her up as an infant, never answered the letters Maeve sent as a teenager, and has died leaving her everything she owned. Including a small house, a wandering cat and a fully-restored classic VW Beetle.Along with an empty hole where the truth needs to be.But Annabelle also left her daughter a circle of good friends, a reputation as a rescuer of last-chance animals, and just enough clues to figure out the secrets of Maeve’s origins – and the seeds that truth sowed all those years ago.Maeve is 36, and at a crossroads in her life. More than one. Her childhood was relatively idyllic but the present is a whole other matter. Not anything terrible, but she’s just not adulting the way she expected to be in her mid-30s. She’s just lost her job – journalism is not a great career choice these days – and she discovered her boyfriend was cheating on her along with the entire rest of the world – on YouTube. Ugh.So the trip to her birth mother’s funeral comes as Maeve has reached a big fork in her road – and doesn’t know how, or which way, to take it. There seems to be a place ready-made for her in Timber Creek – the place left achingly vacant by the sudden death of Annabelle – the mother she never knew.Flailing at the current mess of her own life, Maeve steps hesitatingly, and sometimes more than a bit angrily, into Annabelle’s. Everyone loved the mother who gave her up. It’s awkward and sometimes even painful to feel just how much the entire town loved the woman who didn’t love her enough to keep her. It makes no sense. And it hurts.But as Maeve gingerly becomes part of Timber Creek, she discovers the truths that lie hidden. The truth about the town, the truth about her birth mother, the truth about herself – and just how much her mother’s love and pain bound those truths together.Escape Rating A-: I was expecting a small-town feel-good women’s fiction-type story. And it has elements of that, but the St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets isn’t just that – no matter how cute the dog and cat sweaters knitted by the society are.Instead, this book, like last year’s The Oysterville Sewing Circle, is about a group of women who are doing their best to rescue victims of domestic abuse. It’s the dark and barely hidden underbelly of life in Timber Creek – and everywhere else.But these women, Annabelle and her friends, are doing something about it. Whenever they can. Whenever a girl or woman is willing to ask for help. Because there was no one to help them when they were abused. Because Annabelle knew that when she became pregnant that if she kept Maeve both she and Maeve would be abused by Maeve’s grandfather – and that they’d have no weapons to fight back and no support.So Annabelle gave Maeve up for adoption, for a better life than she knew she could give her, and spent the rest of her life rescuing as many girls and women as possible from the situation she had faced – along with rescuing a few “wayward pets” along the way.The story is told on two levels. The main story is Maeve’s story as she comes to Timber Creek, decides to stick around rather than go back to Seattle to live with her adopted parents – again – and try to figure out where her future lies. The longer she stays in Timber Creek, the more she falls in love with the place – and the more it reaches out and enfolds her in its arms.And the more she discovers its secrets – and her own.But we also see bits and pieces of Annabelle’s life. I’ll admit that at first it looked like Annabelle’s story was going to be different – and even more cruel – than it actually turned out to be. Just how Annabelle became pregnant and why she gave Maeve up hung like a Sword of Damocles over much of the story. I actually read those bits ahead because I couldn’t stand the suspense and didn’t want it to turn out to be the worser of two evils. Which it was not – and was a better story for it.The St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets has a similar storyline to The Oysterville Sewing Circle, at least in the important bits. Meaning that if you liked one you’ll like the other and vice versa. Considering that the issue that underlies both stories is an important one that needs to be dealt with, more such stories, told well, are an excellent thing.And both of these stories are told very well indeed.
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    I signed up for the tour based on the title, the description and the cover because I like a good small town, rebuild-you-life, animal-filled story with secrets and while that is in the book, the pets take a backseat to the drama involving the main character Maeve, her birth mother Annabelle and some of the people Maeve meets when she travels from Seattle to Timber Creek Washington to attend Annabelle's funeral. Maeve's life was in disarray before she receives a call from Alice, her birth I signed up for the tour based on the title, the description and the cover because I like a good small town, rebuild-you-life, animal-filled story with secrets and while that is in the book, the pets take a backseat to the drama involving the main character Maeve, her birth mother Annabelle and some of the people Maeve meets when she travels from Seattle to Timber Creek Washington to attend Annabelle's funeral. Maeve's life was in disarray before she receives a call from Alice, her birth mother's best friend, letting her know Annabelle has died and inviting her to the funeral. Maeve had never met Annabelle and is bitter because she tried to reach out to her when she was a teenager and her letters were returned but she heads to Timber Creek for closure and to find out more about this mysterious woman who gave her away. Upon her arrival she finds out Annabelle has left her house and worldly possessions and becomes involved with the people who knew her best, uncovering more about Annabelle and about the people in the small town she is quickly becoming attached to. Although not quite as light as I thought it was going to be because of some darker themes of abuse and domestic violence, St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets was an enjoyable read. There is humor, a few pets wearing sweaters, romance and mystery worked in. I liked Maeve and her sense of humor as well as the supporting characters. The story is told from Maeve's point of view with chapters from Annabelle's past woven through the story, helping the secrets unfold. I wanted a bit more from the book's ending--although things were wrapped up, it happened rather quickly and I felt it could have been drawn out a bit more given the investment of pages building to the conclusion. Also, and not to be picky because I did receive an uncorrected proof for review, there was a big plot continuity error that threw me off and had me going back to reread what transpired multiple times, and then questioning some of what I read after that chapter to reconcile it in my mind. I can't imagine that it made it into the final version, but it will have me grab the published book when I see it and check. Despite these things, the story-telling and characters made the book for me and the darker spots are not overwrought or excessive. I found myself caught up in the story and not wanting to leave it. This is the first book I have read from this author and I will be checking out her other titles. I'd love to see more set in Timber Creek too. If you like women's fiction, drama, books set small towns with quirky characters, and a good balance of humor and poignancy, I'm sure you will like it too.You can see my full review and a recipe inspired by my reading here:https://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/2...Note: A review copy of "St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for my review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Gaele
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn’t sure that I was actually up to stuffing in another new read in the midst of the backlog – but I am SO VERY glad that I took a chance on this story. Maeve is thirty-six, adopted, newly broken from an adulterous boyfriend and suddenly unemployed when the paper she worked for went bankrupt. Never quite feeling as if she ‘fit’, particularly after a series of letters to her birth mother went unanswered when she was a teen, she’s always felt a bit less than. But when notice comes that her I wasn’t sure that I was actually up to stuffing in another new read in the midst of the backlog – but I am SO VERY glad that I took a chance on this story. Maeve is thirty-six, adopted, newly broken from an adulterous boyfriend and suddenly unemployed when the paper she worked for went bankrupt. Never quite feeling as if she ‘fit’, particularly after a series of letters to her birth mother went unanswered when she was a teen, she’s always felt a bit less than. But when notice comes that her birth mother has died, and that her lawyer wants to speak with her, Maeve is faced with a dilemma. Should she go and satisfy a bit of curiosity, or should she just do as she had been – in her childhood bedroom at her parents’ house. While her father is truly a sounding board for her, the tension with her mother (who really is trying in her own way to support her) and her adopted brother all weighing in – she decides to attend the service with her best friend, and then return home the following day. The small town in which Maeve’s only relative lived is ‘typical’ with gossip and secrets – and everyone knowing one another. But more striking to Maeve is the fact that everyone remarks on how similar she is to her birth mother – despite her anger at being given up, no answers, and her general malaise as the emotions overwhelm. From being the only one to inherit her mother Annabelle’s worldly goods, to seemingly inheriting her friends, a cranky cat and the constant reminders of ‘what her mother did’ just like her – there’s plenty to take in and more questions than answers. Throughout it all, Noblin depicts and shares the emotions that Maeve would feel – and contrasts those with a few chapters of perspective from her birth mother, Annabelle, as well as an undercurrent of ‘something strange’ from the knitting ‘club’ that makes sweaters for pets, a special ‘starter kit’ for knitting projects that are given free of charge, and the fact that a reclusive yet famous writer is her new neighbor. Maeve first makes a decision to stay without making any decision, and soon finds herself provided with answers, more questions, a new direction and a sort of peace that she never before felt. With plenty of heart, enough emotion to pack a serious punch, a dangerous climax and a sharp recognition of ‘perfect’ people versus people, the story is lovely and engaging. I read this in one sweep – and was disappointed to see the story come to an end, even as all of the biggest questions were answered beautifully. A favorite for the depiction of Maeve’s emotions and questions, and the answers that she came to learn. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed
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  • ReadingGirlReviews (Gina)
    January 1, 1970
    Don't let the dog on the front cover fool you.St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets tells the story of a woman who hits the wall of loss at an alarming speed. She loses her job, her boyfriend and then her birth mother (who she's never known) all at the same time. Not to mention she also gets robbed. When she (Maeve, her name is Maeve) heads to the small town of Timber Creek to accept her inheritance of a small house her mother has left her, she starts to unravel the story behind her birth mother, Don't let the dog on the front cover fool you.St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets tells the story of a woman who hits the wall of loss at an alarming speed.  She loses her job, her boyfriend and then her birth mother (who she's never known) all at the same time.  Not to mention she also gets robbed.  When she (Maeve, her name is Maeve) heads to the small town of Timber Creek to accept her inheritance of a small house her mother has left her, she starts to unravel the story behind her birth mother, and the reasons of her adoption.  There are friends, neighbors, dogs, cats and knitting needles all entangled in this story helping Maeve face this major turning point in her life and answer the questions she's longed to have answered.What a story.  This (in my opinion) is a coming of age story for a lady who needed to come of age long ago, but life just wouldn't go her way.  Sounds like most people I know.  There is some mystery type twists and turns, a little romance, and a little humor along with some difficult topics such as adoption, domestic violence and grief.  The band of characters in Timber Creek were wonderful and just the kind of people you want to live around yourself, and I found myself consumed by this story and had a hard time putting it down.  There is no better way to read about starting over and finding yourself than a book based in a small town with memorable characters and pets.  It has pets. Did I mention the pets?   Yes, that dog on the cover. Don't let it fool you, the book is not centered around animals, but it does have them included.  Once you read the book you will understand the novelty of the wayward pets (or at least you should).  I truly enjoyed this heartwarming read.  I hope to read more about this wonderful little town and the people who reside there.Thank you to Annie England Noblin, TLC Book Tours and Harper Collins Publishers for the gifted copy of this book for my unbiased and honest opinion.
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  • Clark Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    Don’t judge a book by its cover...or it’s title. I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads promotion. When it arrived, I placed it on my shelf since I wasn’t in the mood to read a book about pets. When I picked it up yesterday, I decided to give it a chance. If you are looking for a book about animals, this isn’t the one. Even though the characters of the book have pets, there is so much more to the story.Maeve is a 36 year old woman who has lost her beau, her job, and finally her apartment. Don’t judge a book by its cover...or it’s title. I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads promotion. When it arrived, I placed it on my shelf since I wasn’t in the mood to read a book about pets. When I picked it up yesterday, I decided to give it a chance. If you are looking for a book about animals, this isn’t the one. Even though the characters of the book have pets, there is so much more to the story.Maeve is a 36 year old woman who has lost her beau, her job, and finally her apartment. She has no choice but to move into her old room at her parents’ home. She receives a phone call from a stranger telling her her birth mother has died. After much consideration, she decides to attend the funeral. She is told she is the sole heir of her mother’s estate, leaving her confused since she didn’t believe her birth mother wanted anything to do with her. Maeve learns the truth about her mother and the identity of her father. She inherits a home and a classic VW bug and even meets a new love interest. And the title...St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets is actually a knitting group that has a hidden agenda to help abused women.Picked it up yesterday and finished it today. A quick read, filled with excitement, humor, and sadness. I would recommend this book.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    No it's not really about pets- but it's a boffo read about a woman finding herself. Maeve loses her job and her boyfriend (publicly that one!) and then her birth mom, who she's never met. Annabelle gave Maeve up for adoption when she was born 36 years earlier and, as Maeve soon discovers, she always wanted not only the best for her but also to leave her everything she had. Maeve's thrown for a loop, as one would be, but she finds herself moving to small town of Timber Creek, where she starts to No it's not really about pets- but it's a boffo read about a woman finding herself. Maeve loses her job and her boyfriend (publicly that one!) and then her birth mom, who she's never met. Annabelle gave Maeve up for adoption when she was born 36 years earlier and, as Maeve soon discovers, she always wanted not only the best for her but also to leave her everything she had. Maeve's thrown for a loop, as one would be, but she finds herself moving to small town of Timber Creek, where she starts to untangle not only her own life but Annabelle's story, with the help Annabelle's best friend Alice, the hot neighbor Abel, Happy the dog, and Sherbet the cat. Maeve's story is interspersed with Annabelle's story as a teen. It's a lovely book - and know that there will be a serious twist that takes this past the usual sort of woman-moving-to-small town novel. The characters are terrific (love her brother Eli, her mom is a hoot, and people of Timber Creek are awesome). I LOL'd over the fact that childhood Annabelle and Alice wanted to stab their classmate Eileen Fisher with a knitting needle. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Great satisfying read.
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    Oh - my, this was such a nice surprise! In the beginning I was thinking that it was a light, "between" book to read to take a break from the more substantial books that I love - thrillers and such. About 3/4 way through I upped my potential rating to four stars as the plot became more complicated and meaty. When I finished it I was so pleased and so touched that it has to be a five star read for me. This author does understand people and the characters here are not cardboard cut-outs, that's for Oh - my, this was such a nice surprise! In the beginning I was thinking that it was a light, "between" book to read to take a break from the more substantial books that I love - thrillers and such. About 3/4 way through I upped my potential rating to four stars as the plot became more complicated and meaty. When I finished it I was so pleased and so touched that it has to be a five star read for me. This author does understand people and the characters here are not cardboard cut-outs, that's for sure! It also has humor, which I loved...."He's about 15 pounds of crazy in a five pound bucket." I was not at first impressed with the main character as she seemed pretty immature to me. But thanks to this clever author, she grew on me and I was really rooting for her. Maybe having her wind up with the love interest that she did was a bit too pat (and I don't like romance stories as a rule), but finding out what the St. Francis Society was really doing made it all better. I enjoyed Happy, the rescued American Bull Dog and the cat, too. I really was a satisfying read.
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  • Miriam
    January 1, 1970
    The book was a wonderful way to enjoy my Sunday. I got engrossed in the tale which has great twists, turns, and some genuine humor. I love that the women were helping other women and pets.It was sometimes difficult to relate to Maeve who is still searching for herself and finding her place in the world even though she's thirty-six. Sometimes life is just hard and doesn't settle in around you. The characters were fun to get to know, including Maeve's birth mother whose death turns Maeve's life on The book was a wonderful way to enjoy my Sunday. I got engrossed in the tale which has great twists, turns, and some genuine humor.  I love that the women were helping other women and pets.It was sometimes difficult to relate to Maeve who is still searching for herself and finding her place in the world even though she's thirty-six. Sometimes life is just hard and doesn't settle in around you. The characters were fun to get to know, including Maeve's birth mother whose death turns Maeve's life on its head.If you like stories about pets, women, and the ways they heal one another then you'll love this one. Check out the cat and dog at the head of each chapter. They're adorable.Thanks to William Morrow for an ARC to read.
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  • Marcia
    January 1, 1970
    I'm reviewing an "uncorrected proof" which definitely needed some correcting. The story is about Maeve, who was given up for adoption and then learns that her birth mother has died. She'd tried to contact her birth mother when she was younger, with no response. So, her feelings aren't positive. She attends the funeral, finds she's the heir, and meets a wonderful cast of characters. I did like the story. However, the book cover with a dog, and the title, made me think it was a dog story— not an I'm reviewing an "uncorrected proof" which definitely needed some correcting. The story is about Maeve, who was given up for adoption and then learns that her birth mother has died. She'd tried to contact her birth mother when she was younger, with no response. So, her feelings aren't positive. She attends the funeral, finds she's the heir, and meets a wonderful cast of characters. I did like the story. However, the book cover with a dog, and the title, made me think it was a dog story— not an enjoyable book with interesting characters. I wouldn't have picked it up based on the cover and title. I think it needed a better editor. However, if you'd just like an enjoyable read, I'd recommend it.
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  • Brenda Mcallister
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC from the publisher and Netgalley. Enjoyed it and hope others will too!Really enjoyed this book! A little mystery, a little humor, a little romance, all held together by Maeve, who finds that life doesn't have to be so confusing. Day one finds her jobless, watching her boyfriend caught on camera kissing another woman, then robbed a knife point as she heads home. At 36 years old Maeve thinks she is a total failure at life, broke and having to move back in with her parents. Then I received this ARC from the publisher and Netgalley. Enjoyed it and hope others will too!Really enjoyed this book! A little mystery, a little humor, a little romance, all held together by Maeve, who finds that life doesn't have to be so confusing. Day one finds her jobless, watching her boyfriend caught on camera kissing another woman, then robbed a knife point as she heads home. At 36 years old Maeve thinks she is a total failure at life, broke and having to move back in with her parents. Then comes the phone call that will change everything for her. She gains a totally new prospective on life and what friends and family really are. Between wrecking her car, the dog eating the door and the crazy neighbour with a gun, she finds a way to put it all together.
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