Once Upon a Sunset by Tif Marcelo

Monday, May 25, 2020


by Tif Marcelo
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction, Adult
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: March 3rd 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷

Once Upon a Sunset was a touching story of a mother, her daughter, and a family secret that changes the entire course of their lives. Tif Marcelo's fifth book takes us on a journey to the Philippines when Margo and Diana discover that their father and grandfather respectively didn't die in WWII as they were led to believe.

I love books that have a strong focus on family and family secrets, so I found myself being easily pulled into the story. It also helped that Tif Marcelo is a talented author who knows how to evoke all the emotions. What made this book an interesting read for me was the contrast between Margo and Diana. Margo was more of a free-spirit compared to her OB/GYN daughter, but there were similarities to their personalities that only the reader could see. They were both strong-minded and independent women who weren't afraid to be outspoken. Diana was keen from the get-go to connect with her new-found family in the Phillippines, but as you can imagine, it wasn't easy for Margo as this changes everything she thought she knew about her parentage. Strains inevitably grow between the two but eventually, we see how Margo and Diana find a way to mend the rift between them and how in the process they both grow from the experience. The author paints the intricacies of a mother-daughter relationship beautifully with a lot of heart and soul, and it was undeniably my favorite aspect of Once Upon a Sunset.

Tif Marcelo also managed to transport me to the Philippines with her vivid descriptions. This was a book that was rich in history and culture. I loved meeting Diana and Margo's family and how they too bond with the women. What slightly let me down in Once Upon a Sunset was the romance. While I wasn't expecting the romance to be at the forefront of this book, I was hoping for much more than was actually in the book. Partly because the author's previous books have had phenomenal romances and partly because I look for romances in every book I read.

While I won't say that Once Upon a Sunset is my favorite book from Tif Marcelo, I still won't hesitate to recommend it to readers who are looking for a family drama. If you're in the mood for something a bit more romantic, then I'll point you towards the Journey to the Heart trilogy.

Do you enjoy books with mother-daughter relationships?

Let me know in the comments below!

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