An Open Letter to Debbie Macomber: My Review of A Girls Guide to Moving On

Dear Debbie,
My name is Kathryn. I am a part time bookseller at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Crestview Hills, KY. I was lucky enough to receive one of the advanced copies of your new book A Girl’s Guide to Moving On and saw in the front that you like to hear from your readers. So, I thought I would write this blog post/open letter to you.

Your name has been a staple in my house for at least the past 10 years. My mom has been a huge fan of yours for quite a while. Funnily enough it was my baby sister and not my mom who told me that under no uncertain terms, I had to read one of your books.
My sister, Juli, is insanely gifted when it comes to art and creating things. She’s been known to on various occasions make my mom, siblings, or myself little creations “just because”. One day she called my mom and I and asked if we had “any extra romance-y type books we could part with”. My mom was nice enough to mention her stock pile of some of your books. My mom and I used to frequent a hole in the wall type book store by our house (sadly, it has now gone out of business) and my mom would buy MULTIPLE copies of your books. Especially The Forgetful Bride. Since I do the same with various books I never questioned her. (I found out later she gives them as gifts along with a little basket of goodies)


So, my sister starts cutting out romantic lines from The Forgetful Bride and ends up building this beautiful frame for a picture/quote from a movie. Now, as much as it pains me to admit that one of my siblings damaged a book in anyway, I swear it was for a good cause!


Sorry for the grainy photo!

She read the entire book while creating this piece for me and grabbed a new copy from the stock pile, handed it to me and said “You read so fast. This will take you no time at all. You HAVE to read this now.” I did. I read it right then and there. It took me 45 minutes. I came back to her sobbing and thanking her for making me read it. Thus began my own personal enjoyment of your books. I can go into detail about The Forgetful Bride, how much I ABSOLUTELY ADORED the originality of the story, your Cedar Cove book series and more but I will try very hard and focus on the book I am meant to be reviewing. 🙂


More than anything I want to say thank you for writing this book. As a child of divorce, I am not going to lie, the topic made me VERY nervous to read it. My parents break up was a bit more similar to Leanne and Sean’s than Nichole and Jake’s. While my dad did not cheat on my mom with other women, he did cheat on her with “the bottle”. On top of that he was constantly putting her down and killing the bright spirit that is my mom. Leanne’s struggles hit very close to home for me because I remember being a spectator of that kind of abuse day after day.


I have not been in a relationship yet myself, so I realize I cannot understand what it is like to spend 18 years of your life with someone and create 5 children with that person to have them give up on you. I remember begging my mom to stop trying. To leave him. To realize she was worth more. That we were worth more than what he made us feel like. I couldn’t understand her struggle and I think a small part of me resented her for that. Something I never wanted to admit to myself or to her. Reading over Leanne and Nichole’s struggles helped give me an unbiased insight into what my mom might have been feeling.


I don’t really like to talk about this too much because I am afraid people will tease me but because of my past I have become deeply terrified of men. I was told by the one person a girl is supposed to trust time and time again that I would never be pleasing to any man. Too fat, too insecure, too nerdy, too attached to my family, you name it-he said it. So I hide behind this shell of insecurity and self-pity as a defense mechanism to keep from getting hurt. I try and be bright and bubbly on the outside but I clam up the minute I feel too comfortable around a guy. There have been a few times I let myself become vulnerable and led to disastrous results (one told me to lose 30 pounds and he’d think about it, one went for the younger prettier girl, etc). I had slowly started to retreat back into that shell when your book was placed in my box at work.


Your book has allowed me to heal in a way that I didn’t even realize I needed. I know that my journey to love my self and to find love in another will still be a long haul but you have given me hope. That is what I love most about your books. Yes, there are the romantic moments and the “meet cutes” but at the end of the day, your stories, characters, situations, are REAL. Real people, real emotions, real faith.
Again, I cannot thank you enough for this book. For Leanne, Nichole, Nikolai, and Rocco. This book was absolutely fantastic, moving, beautiful and healing (for me anyways).

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the bottom of my heart.
-A little less broken Kathryn


7 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Debbie Macomber: My Review of A Girls Guide to Moving On

  1. Thank you Debbie for printing this letter from this remarkable young woman. I can only hope (as do others) that she finds the strength to be all she can be and as she wants to see herself. How wonderful she had this opportunity to read your latest and benefit from it as do we all!

  2. Wow, what a beautiful letter! Makes me want to go buy it right now! But will have to wait, as books are a luxury my pocket can’t approve of just yet. At least, not until God approves my disability and I start receiving some finances to juggle. Wish I could speak to Kathryn and let her know it’s ok to love yourself. That is the first step in healing.
    Ms. Debbie, I too thank you for your books, and the hope they inspire. Be blessed!

  3. how much strength it had to take for you to bare your heart like you did here ‘Kathryn’. I too lived with abuse, physical and emotional, from my mother and then a husband, and it has taken me all of my life and a strong belief in God to realize that I have a lot to offer a man, or a friend even. I am now a lot older-I wish I had realized earlier, how different my life would have been. I will be praying that you continue to grow in your own self worth-because God didn’t make you for nothing. it may be too late for me. I have become very much of an introvert in my older age and I don’t want that to happen to you. choose friends who see your worth as a person, one who isn’t concerned with your outward appearance. I will say that whether you are pretty, cute, plain, bigger or skinny. I was a very pretty young woman and had no clue until my kids looked at my pictures of when I was young and told me. I have friends who tell me my heart is huge and that my advice is so helpful to them. so it is your heart that matters and if you only find one person who sees that then you are ok. anyone who puts negativity in your life you need to let them keep on walking. have a great life Kathryn. a very, very great life!

    • When I read this post I could not believe it. It sounds almost exactly like my life and my experience. I too am an introvert. It is good to know there are others out there just like me who are making it in life. Hang it there. 🙂

  4. I, too, have been able to make a better life because of Debbie`s books. The only negative thing about her books are once I start one I cannot put it down until I finish it. But lack of sleep is well worth the reading of the book. As to the young lady who wrote the letter I will keep you in my prayers. You WILL succeed. I wish you only the best of health, much happiness and love. When you have a down moment, pick yourself right up and talk to you guardian angel…..she is sitting right there on your shoulder.

  5. Oh, dear. It was like reliving my own life. Psychologically abusive mother, learned later that she was competitive me. I was a beautiful child, and she admonished others not to tell me that, it would make me VAIN! So I grew up an anxious little girl, and threw myself into my school work, where I got my strokes. The story goes on … she called me fat, told me not to get my hopes up about anything so I wouldn’t be disappointed. She tried to put her issues on me, she wanted me to live her journey. My father was an alcoholic, and in her twisted way, she made it work for her, the long-suffering wife. Naturally I married an alcoholic who carried on the abuse at a level I could not tolerate, and I left, raising two children alone. That made a lie of my mother’s life, and her abuse escalated; I still shook under the barrage of her wrath even as an adult. I still attracted the wrong kind of man, I didn’t think I deserved any better. She is a splitter and she played our family off against each other, sitting as a Roman in the Coliseum cheering for her favorite gladiator. I am now 75, she is 95, and I finally had the courage to walk away from her, the sweet little old lady others adore. She knows what she did, and now she is re-inventing her story, I can’t bear to listen to her lies. Too late for a relationship, I’m busy taking care of me. Lily Tomlin said that forgiveness is giving up hope of ever having a happy childhood – I’m talking about letting go, not running back into the same mountain. I’m not an introvert, but the minute I get a glimpse of abuse, I retreat. I have a few great and loyal friends with journeys of their own; we accept and validate one another. And we feel strong, no longer victims, and have much wisdom to share with others. Kathryn, you are so blessed to have found yourself at this young age, and I hope with all my heart that you will continue to heal and grow. You have no idea what wonderful things lie ahead!

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