Linda Poitevin’s Gwynneth Ever After is a contemporary romance of renewed faith and hope. Gwyn Jacobs, a frazzled single mother of three, discovers herself sitting next to a famous movie star, Gareth Connor, as she attends a play at Cantebury Theatre in Ottawa’s West End. To her surprise, they strike up a conversation which lead to coffee, which leads to a dinner date. This story is guaranteed to inflate the dreams and hopes of every woman with a crush on a Hemsworth brother.
I had a lot of respect and admiration for Poitevin’s heroine, Gwyn. As a busy mom who finds myself juggling far too many schedules and commitments, she resonated strongly for me. Gwyn has to balance her work as an architect, three children (including twins) with full schedules, her art and her friends. She has a direct and practical focus which will be very familiar to any mom with young kids, a head-over-heart approach to life which has kept her family functioning with only minimal help for years.
Despite the hardships, Gwyn still shows a sense of humour and nurses a secret seed of romantic hope. For once, she allows herself to believe that perhaps there is a happily ever after waiting on the other side of the rainbow. She gives Gareth a chance to show himself as a grounded, caring and considerate partner. But reality intrudes and Gwyn will have to decide if she’s ready to risk broken hearts for herself and her children in exchange for the chance at a happy ending.
Gareth is a Welsh screen actor hiding in Ottawa with his brother, Sean. His character is in retreat, enjoying the respite from being a recognized persona, refusing calls from his ex-wife and his agent. But as he escapes from the pressure, he finds a new level of peace haunting Gwyn and her family, building block towers and dealing with sick children. He becomes so involved that his brother Sean is worried, becoming the protective big brother and sharing the truths which Gareth is too romanced to acknowledge.
Ottawa residents will recognize many of the landmarks on the roadmap through Gareth and Gwyn’s romance, an uncommon thrill for readers in the Capital region. Parents will recognize the terrible challenge of balancing between your own dreams with what’s best for your children. Professionals and public figures will recognize the need to escape the pressure of being the best possible version of yourself at all times.
Gwynneth Ever After doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a story of hope and dreams. It delivers what it promises: a chance to believe in happily ever after again.