Thursday, April 16, 2020

You and Me and Us by Alison Hammer (TLC Book Tour)

I’ll admit, with all of the stressors that are going on in the world right now with the COVID-19 crisis, I wasn’t sure if You and Me and Us was the type of book I would like to read right now.  The novel soon proved me wrong and I had a hard time putting it down.  I devoured it quickly and only wished there was more that I could read on the wonderful characters.

Alexis Gold is a working mom with a very demanding job and busy life.  Luckily her partner, Tommy, is very supportive.  He works from home and is the primary caregiver to their 14-year-old daughter CeCe.  Alexis and CeCe both find their world shattered when Tommy is diagnosed with stage four small cell lung cancer.  After seeing his mother suffer for five years trying to beat and then ultimately succumbing to cancer, Tommy doesn’t want to put his family through that.  He decides he wants one last summer together in his home town of Destin, Florida, where they have Alexis’s Grandma’s cottage.   Together and apart they all come to terms with the major changes that are happening to them and determine how they will move forward.

You and Me and Us is told from the first-person point of view with alternating chapters told from the perspective of Alexis and CeCe.  Alexis and CeCe have a strained mother and daughter relationship and they both love Tommy.  It’s interesting to see their differing viewpoints.  They love one another and are a lot alike, but can’t always see eye to eye.  CeCe wants to be an actress, but Alexis doesn’t want her to be disappointed by failure.  Alexis has never wanted to be married after seeing her parents’ unhappy marriage, but both Tommy and CeCe would love to see that.   

The storyline and all of the characters were very engaging.  I felt that the emotions and situations were true to life.  As a working mother, I felt Alexis’s pain of loving her job, but wondering if she’s given up too much of herself to work rather than her children.  I also remember being a teenager like CeCe growing up and wanting to be independent, and feeling hemmed in by your mother.  I will admit, I did cry in this novel, but it was at one-part tears of happiness while at another part it was tears of sorrow.  The setting was wonderful in a small Florida coastal town.  Especially with being sequestered in at home now, it was nice to “travel” to Florida in the story.  I loved how Tommy was such a wonderful husband and father.  There had been twist and turns in his life story, but I thought it was so romantic that Alexis and Tommy were childhood friends who eventually found each other again as adults.  The novel concluded with a wonderful last chapter set one year later and it was a perfect ending. 

The novel also has my favorite items, the P.S. section with information about the author, behind the book essay, and a book club guide.  I was very interested to learn that this was Alison Hammer’s very first novel.  It was so well written and engaging that I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was interesting that the characters have been in her mind in different iterations for twenty years.  I hope that we hear more from them in the future.

Favorite Quotes:

“Sad that it’s easier for me to tell the world that I love my daughter in a hashtag than it is for me to say it to her face.”

“All those years ago, you told me to stay, to stop running away.  You said that life is going to be tough no matter where I went, and that some things were worth sticking around for.  And that’s you.”

“…you can’t run away from the hard things in life, because you might end up missing the beautiful moments.”

Overall, You and Me and Us was a very engaging story about the beautiful and tragic moments that are life.

Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow as part of the TLC Book Tour.  Thank-you!  For more stops on this tour, check out this link.

About You and Me and Us

• Hardcover: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (April 7, 2020)

 “Hammer is an expert at both tugging heartstrings and keeping the reader utterly immersed in a world of hope and heartbreak. A great new voice in women’s fiction.”-- Kristin Harmel, #1 international bestselling author of The Winemaker's Wife  

The heartbreaking, yet hopeful, story of a mother and daughter struggling to be a family without the one person who holds them together—a perfect summer read for fans of Jojo Moyes and Marisa de los Santos.

Alexis Gold knows how to put the “work” in working mom. It’s the “mom” part that she’s been struggling with lately. Since opening her own advertising agency three years ago, Alexis has all but given up on finding a good work/life balance. Instead, she’s handed over the household reins to her supportive, loving partner, Tommy. While he’s quick to say they divide and conquer, Alexis knows that Tommy does most of the heavy lifting—especially when it comes to their teenage daughter, CeCe.

Their world changes in an instant when Tommy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Alexis realizes everything she’s worked relentlessly for doesn’t matter without him. So Alexis does what Tommy has done for her almost every day since they were twelve-year-old kids in Destin, Florida—she puts him first. And when the only thing Tommy wants is to spend one last summer together at “their” beach, she puts her career on hold to make it happen…even if it means putting her family within striking distance of Tommy’s ex, an actress CeCe idolizes.

But Alexis and Tommy aren’t the only ones whose lives have been turned inside out. In addition to dealing with the normal ups and downs that come with being a teenager, CeCe is also forced to confront her feelings about Tommy’s illness—and what will happen when the one person who’s always been there for her is gone. When the magic of first love brings a bright spot to her summer, CeCe is determined not to let her mother ruin that for her, too.

As CeCe’s behavior becomes more rebellious, Alexis realizes the only thing harder for her than losing Tommy will be convincing CeCe to give her one more chance.

 You and Me and Us is a beautifully written novel that examines the unexpected ways loss teaches us how to love.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Alison Hammer

Founder of the Every Damn Day Writers, Alison Hammer has been spinning words to tell stories since she learned how to talk. A graduate of the University of Florida and the Creative Circus in Atlanta, she lived in nine cities before settling down in Chicago, where she works as a VP creative director at an advertising agency. You & Me & Us is her first novel. Find out more about Alison at her website, and connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 Photo by Will Byington


  1. It sounds both very good, and very emotional. Right now I doubt I'd like to take this up but I am making a note of the author.

  2. This book would totally make me cry! which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  3. Laura, I enjoyed reading your review and the quotations that are part of it. You always write terrific review posts. This book sounds heartbreaking, hopeful--and wonderful!

  4. I love a good P.S. section, too! I really enjoyed this book and I could completely relate to a mom having a hard time connecting with her teenager. I feel like it's OK between me and my daughter but I know how quickly they morph into their own person. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  5. I love a good follow up at the end of a book!!

    Thank you for being on this tour!

  6. Thank-you for the great comments. I just loved this novel.