Mrs. Nash’s Ashes by Sarah Adler #BookReview #WomensFiction #RomCom #HistoricalFiction

A starry-eyed romantic, a cynical writer, and (the ashes of) an elderly woman take the road trip of a lifetime that just might upend everything they believe about true love.

Millicent Watts-Cohen is on a mission. When she promised her elderly best friend that she’d reunite her with the woman she fell in love with nearly eighty years ago, she never imagined that would mean traveling from D.C. to Key West with three tablespoons of Mrs. Nash’s remains in her backpack. But Millie’s determined to give her friend a symbolic happily-ever-after, before it’s (really) too late—and hopefully reassure herself of love’s lasting power in the process.

She just didn’t expect to have a living travel companion.

After a computer glitch grounds flights, Millie is forced to catch a ride with Hollis Hollenbeck, an also-stranded acquaintance from her ex’s MFA program. Hollis certainly does not believe in happily-ever-afters—symbolic or otherwise—and makes it quite clear that he can’t fathom Millie’s plan ending well for anyone.

But as they contend with peculiar bed-and-breakfasts, unusual small-town festivals, and deer with a death wish, Millie begins to suspect that her reluctant travel partner might enjoy her company more than he lets on. Because for someone who supposedly doesn’t share her views on romance, Hollis sure is becoming invested in the success of their journey. And the closer they get to their destination, the more Millie has to admit that maybe this trip isn’t just about Mrs. Nash’s love story after all—maybe it’s also about her own.

Thank you to Berkley Publishers for the free digital copy of the book to read and review.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

Mrs. Nash’s Ashes is Sarah Adler’s debut story of Millicent Watts-Cohen and her road trip to reunite her friend, Mrs. Nash, with her one true love. Of course, Mrs. Nash has recently passed away, so it’s her ashes (3 tablespoons of her ashes, to be exact) that she is traveling down to the Florida Keys with. Also, the transportation system shut down, so she has to find a ride. The results are a fun and heartwarming trip that will do much more than reunite two old loves.

My Reading Experience:

This story surprised me with its depth and scope. I loved all the twists and turns it took on top of the expected journey plot, where the person taking the journey learns what they are looking for while learning more about themselves. It all works together to create a story that is much more than the sum of its parts.

Dual timelines enhance the story and allow me to get to know Mrs. Nash even though she’s deceased. I loved getting to know her story, which is incredibly brave and romantic. She is an intriguing character with lots of surprises hidden in her past.

And I adored the grumpy–sunshine romance story. It is witty and snarky and in every way authentic and swoon-worthy. Millie and Hollis are brilliant together, and the thing I missed most after finishing the book is learning how their story ends. I could follow them through a lifetime of adventures, big and small.


Millie is the main character of the story. She is sunshine and light – everything that is good. A child actress in her early teens, she still has to field fan attention 15 years later, and it isn’t always pleasant. But her boyfriend dumped her in the most humiliating way, and her only friend, the older adult she cares for – has passed away. To say she is grieving is understating the turmoils she is in from all the changes she’s gone through in a short time. Reuniting Mrs. Nash to her lost love gives Millie purpose, which she needs most right now.

I loved Millie’s genuine spirit and her determination. She is so well developed that she felt genuine and realistic, like she could walk right off the page and tell me the story in her own words. She is an easy character to stand behind and a fun character to follow, as she has a way about her that leads her on a most complex journey full of highs and lows.

Narration & Pacing:

Millie tells her story in first-person narration, giving the story the perfect personal feel while aiding the pace by keeping it fast. The past storyline read marginally slower, but then it is in third-person narration and has more exposition than the current timeline told by Millie.


The story begins in Washington, DC, and the journey takes Millie to Key West in the Florida Keys. The past storyline is mainly in Key West too. I love the Florida Keys and enjoyed experiencing the area in a story that showed its history and its present. If only Rose (Mrs. Nash) had run into Hemingway in Key West, I would have been completely in awe. Like the rest of the story, the settings are used in fun and relevant ways that take unexpected twists and turns.

Read if you like:

  • Heartwarming journey stories
  • Open door romances 
  • Witty and smart dialogue

Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Writing Quality10
Character Development8
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness10
Use of Setting10
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.

18 Replies to “Mrs. Nash’s Ashes by Sarah Adler #BookReview #WomensFiction #RomCom #HistoricalFiction”

  1. It’s a completely different genre, but if you’re interested in stories set in Key West, especially ones that show its history, One Brilliant Flame by Joy Castro might interest you.

    Liked by 2 people

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