The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

Contemporary, 332 pages, published in 2019

After husband left three years ago, Amy has been struggling to make ends meet for her two kids. She finally has everything under control when her husband shows up and wants to spend the summer with the kids. Kid-free for the first time in years, Amy goes to New York City to see what she has been missing out on.

Spoiler Free Review:


I was interested in this book because it seemed very … well, bookish but what I got unfortunately wasn’t.

Amy is a librarian and initially goes to New York City for a conference, but from there, any book-related mentions are kept to a minimum. She mentions reading, as does her daughter, as well as the project that she proposed at the conference, but it isn’t really mentioned in any great detail other than in the beginning.

Amy was honestly my least favorite character in this book. I loved her kids, her friends, her love interest, everyone around her (other than her husband), but I just couldn’t like her. She did so many things that annoyed me. There was an incident when she first arrives in NYC that drove me insane because of the way she handled it. She was also super judgmental of trendy YA books, despite being a librarian. This is something I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of in adult contemporaries lately and I’m sick of it.

The major theme of this book was about what it’s like to be a parent and whether or not taking time for yourself makes you a bad parent. This also kind of dealt with the fact that most of the time, women are the ones who do the majority of the childcare and don’t get enough credit for it. These themes would have hit better if I was a parent or wanted to be one. Amy is constantly feeling guilty about leaving her kids and feeling even guiltier when she isn’t guilty about leaving them for the summer. I really can not relate to that, which may contribute to why I didn’t like Amy.

I thought this book was entertaining, but it was nothing special to me. The side characters are really what shined through, and the plot was silly enough in certain places to keep me mildly hooked. If you are a parent or want to be one, perhaps you would enjoy this more than I did.

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5 thoughts on “The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

      1. Maybe it fit more into the plot, though, because of her school reading system and how others not having access to the fancy classics was an issue and so that’s how she connected with those at her conference. so plot point?


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