Review: I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin

This is my first ever Ann Garvin book but I have certainly seen her other books on best seller lists and I was interested in checking this one out. I also belong to the Tall Poppy Bloggers group and I love getting Ann’s email newsletters. They are always so funny and well written so I was excited to get this book to read knowing her humor would shine through!

To be honest I was worried this book would be a little heavy and that Ann’s great humor would be overshadowed by some of the heavier topics in the novel, but I wanted to read one of her novels so much and I was totally open to seeing how this one unfolded!

As they say, trust the process right? The second I started the book, I knew I was reading something special. Heavy emotional topics—check. Well timed humor—-check. Entertaining—-check. I was so glad I didn’t let the heavier topics make me wary, this was an excellent read and one that will likely stay with me for a while now that I am done with it.


A road trip can drive anyone over the edge—especially two former best friends—in bestselling author Ann Garvin’s funny and poignant novel about broken bonds, messy histories, and the power of forgiveness.

Widowed Samantha Arias hasn’t spoken to Holly Dunfee in forever. It’s for the best. Samantha prefers to avoid conflict. The blisteringly honest Holly craves it. What they still have in common puts them both back on speed dial: a mutual love for Katie, their best friend of twenty-five years, now hospitalized with cancer and needing one little errand from her old college roomies.

It’s simple: travel cross-country together, steal her loathsome ex-husband’s VW camper, find Katie’s diabetic Great Pyrenees at a Utah rescue, and drive him back home to Wisconsin. If it’ll make Katie happy, no favor is too big (one hundred pounds), too daunting (two thousand miles), or too illegal (ish), even when a boho D-list celebrity hitches a ride and drives the road trip in fresh directions.

Samantha and Holly are following every new turn—toward second chances, unexpected romance, and self-discovery—and finally blowing the dust off the secret that broke their friendship. On the open road, they’ll try to put it back together—for themselves, and especially for the love of Katie (summary from Goodreads)


One of the things I found so intriguing about this book was the broken bonds and messy history part of the summary between the friends. I am not best friends with anyone I went to high school or college with still. Nothing major, just grew apart and general life stuff. But I love stories about best friends and the complexities of a long standing history between them. I was super excited to see how that unfolded in this book and the summary hinted at some major riffs. I loved how much emotion Garvin put into this one and the friend elements, and I was thrilled to see her humor come through even in the heavy content. I laughed as many times as I teared up. It was a heartfelt read with lots of heart and I really enjoyed it.

Garvin really highlights the complex relationships that women have with one another. In this book Katie, Samantha, and Holly have a long history and a lot of misunderstandings have happened over the years to get them to the point they are currently at when the book opens. It was such a realistic view of how things can go sideways in friendships and how sometimes it takes a life crisis to reconcile those hurt feelings. I loved how well the relationships between the three characters evolved over the book. It felt like there was a lot of growth and that doesn’t always come through in come books but it did in this one.

While this was a heavy read, I read it rather quick. Often when I am reading books with more heavy content, I tend to read them a little more slowly but this one had such great pacing, interesting characters and of course an adorable dog! I couldn’t put it down. I loved reading it and could easily pass a couple of hours, put in a book mark, and then anxiously await the next time I could read it! For me it was a fast read. I could relate to the characters so much, all the way down to the dog! My 16 year old chihuahua is so old and went through a massive mouth infection the last few months and as I was reading about Peanut in this book, I found myself seeing bits of my own dog! The characters are a little quirky but that’s what makes them stand out for me. They are unique, real, and compelling. I know this book sounds heavy but it’s truly a wonderful read and I am looking forward to my next book by Garvin!

Book Info and Rating

Format301 pages, Kindle Edition

PublishedMay 1, 2021 by Lake Union Publishing

Free review copy provided by publisher, Lake Union in partnership with the Tall Poppy Writers/Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: womens fiction, contempo lit


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