TITLE : Just Because We Can

AUTHOR : Nicole Brooks

GENRE : Adult, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

FBRC RATING : 4 stars


If you love the earth and a compelling read, this book is for you.

Dale became an environmental scientist to help save the earth, but at 36, she is jaded with the reality of her job. Meanwhile, just as she struggles to connect with her glamourous mother and navigate her siblings’ complex problems, she and her husband embark on another round of IVF.

But just as the suffocating pressures of everyday life threaten to overwhelm Dale, she leaves on a work trip to Thailand. Working on a landfill site halfway around the world, she unexpectedly becomes captivated by a neighbouring village and its inhabitants. She readily adopts their deep, spiritual connection to the earth. Amidst the tranquility, she finally finds a place where she belongs. A place that feels like home. With her panic attacks replaced by transcendent experiences, how can Dale return to Calgary, knowing that everything will be the same? Could she actually discard her marriage, her career, and her family? Can she figure out what’s best for her and what’s best for the earth?

In a culture trumpeting individual abundance and unlimited growth potential, this novel asks: what is truly important in a world where time is running out, where resources are limited? Should Dale, should any of us, keep treating the world as our personal oyster*…* just because we can? 


DISCLAIMER : I received an ARC( advance review copy) of this book for free from Hidden Gems Books. I am leaving this review voluntarily. Thank you, Hidden Gems Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this book.

This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I really liked the concept and the way the author leaves people thinking about life, our purpose, spiritual well being is amazing. The book is introspective and is filled with situations that lead us to examine ourselves. The very essence of one’s life and accepting of our fate, having no control of things are all very much the prevalent themes in the book. Life’s small pleasures are often forgotten in the pursuit of materialistic things. The book is great at revealing what’s beneath us and helping us solve our life situations.

Dale is working for an environmental Management corporation. She is smart, has high concerns for her environment and the impact she has on our nature. She is always worrying and that pushes her to her limits ultimately making things very difficult to accept and requires her to leave her life behind for the time being to search for a higher power. She learns some important lessons that she can impart to the people around her. I found her character to be quite unsure of herself, wanting to learn more of her true self and in that process, she decided she was going to let go of herself. 

Kob, Lev, Tan, and Colin were interesting characters and their role in enlightening is worth mentioning. There were a lot of synchronicities in the way things happened to Dale and a lot of things felt almost like Divine Intervention. The idea of spiritual growth and emotional growth is something Dale is seeking out. Colin with his past does his best to make sure he helps Dale. 

Kob and Lev are welcoming to anyone who comes into their village. Kob is a fisherman and he is set on making sure foreigners found their way in life. Kob and his wife reminded people of their basic necessities and how fulfilling life can be without yearning for materialistic things. Their life is simple, they work hard and has immense respect for people.

The banter between Ryan and Dale was good. I believe Ryan is the one who is far more mature than Dale. Dale is unsure, less confident and spends her time doing more worrying, judging the older generations for their lack of seriousness over the consumption of resources than doing something. I am not a huge fan of Dale’s but all the characters bring out the serious matter that is affecting our communities.

Overall the book was an interesting read that will definitely make you pause and think. The writing style in some parts was not what I enjoyed, whereas the overall theme and how each generation has their own take on what is happening in the environment. I gave it 4 stars. I definitely recommend checking it out if you are interested in fiction that is based on social issues or related to environment. 

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