Ordinary days

So I’m kind of a romantic at heart – I’m a sucker for a sweet story where you just feel happy for the main characters by the end of the book. I’m also a fan of historical fiction, particularly anything from 1920-1950 with World War II era being my favorite (For those of you who are worried that this website will be only those kind of books, don’t worry. I enjoy lots of genres, and we’ll be discussing many of them). Today, however, we’re talking historical fiction with a dash of romance.

I was actually first introduced to this book by way of the Hallmark movie that’s based on this book. Yes, I’m a fan of Hallmark movies too. Don’t judge me. Sometimes I just need a sappy story where there isn’t any blood, gore, or language. Hallmark hits that spot for me. Anyway, I saw the movie before I read the book, and I fell in love with this story. The movie isn’t sappy, roll your eyes cheesy. It just happened to be made by Hallmark.

I’ll admit, I was a little hesitant to read The Magic of Ordinary Days because of how much I enjoyed the movie. Normally it’s the other way around for me because movies almost never do the book justice (which will be a topic for a different day). I didn’t want to read the book and then not like the movie. Turns out I was wrong this time. The book and the movie are both wonderful. Yes, there differences between the two, but overall I enjoy both.

When I think of this book, the word that comes to my mind is gentle. That’s the best way to describe it. It’s not a fast-paced novel or a one where you’re gripping the pages in anxiety to know what happens next. It’s simply a gentle story. It illustrates the beauty of the day to day. Now, that’s not to say it’s boring by any means. Yes, there are surprises and some twists. However, I believe Ann Howard Creel does a fantastic job of showing us that life doesn’t have to be fast-paced in order to be full. Most people lead ordinary lives and do ordinary things. Almost everyone can relate to that.

The story centers on Olivia Dunne, a young woman who has her sights set on becoming an archeologist. She’s gone to school and has big dreams. Life, however, doesn’t always go as planned. A fling with a soldier on his way to war turns Olivia’s life upside down. As a minister’s daughter in the 1940s, this kind of thing would never do, and Olivia suddenly finds herself in a small Colorado town after her father makes new plans for her life – an arranged marriage. How could this new life be better than the life Olivia had planned?

My favorite character is Ray. I’m not going to say who he is, but he’s my favorite.

If you’re looking for a book that’s a relatively quick read (about 300 pages) and will take you back in time, then I encourage you to give The Magic of Ordinary Days a try. It’s a gentle story that has everything from an arranged marriage to a Japanese internment camp and a crime. I think this book is anything but ordinary.