Waiting for Paint to Dry

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Waiting for Paint to Dry 

I must admit that I love this title, Waiting for Paint to Dry. It sounds like it should be hilarious. That is what captured my attention in the first place and intrigued me about this novel. I had never heard of Lia Mack before that, but she certainly made me curious about her writing! 

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Have you read Waiting for Paint to Dry? Come on in and let me tell you about it! 

About Waiting for Paint to Dry 

For fans of Jodi Picoult and Paula Hawkins comes a serious yet hilarious late-coming-of-age story that shows healing comes from where you least expect it…

Since sprinting away from her sister’s wedding (and knocking over a bridesmaid in the process) Matty Bell has lived in a self-made monochromatic life of work-eat-sleep-survive. In and out of work, she hasn’t seen her family in over a decade, and lives vicariously through her best friend’s seemingly perfect life. And the only goal she has (other than filling her stomach) is to avoid any and all reminders of her birthday. It only brings her pain.

But when life catches up with Matty on the night of her surprise 30th birthday, she sets out on a nerve-wrecking last-minute trip home to confront her family that might just result in her coming full-healing-circle. Except, showing up unannounced has Matty staying at her sister’s ocean front home, alone, with only thoughts of that buffet-of-a-man she sat next to on the plane dancing in her head.

And there’s also that pile of leftover paint, daring her to take redemption into her own hands. 

Thoughts on Waiting for Paint to Dry 

Waiting for Paint to Dry follows a woman who was raped as a teenager (there are trigger warnings at the start of this book, should you need them) and didn’t tell anyone for years. She buried it deeply enough in her mind that she “forgot” about it. The forgetting part of a trauma is something I could understand and identify with. Our brains are interestingly resilient like that. But she still suffers from triggers and fragmented memories and flashbacks. 

This novel is infuriating in the sense that when Matty speaks out about her trauma, she is met with all the standard and stereotypical responses. It’s too late to prosecute, you must have wanted it, I don’t have time for this, anything and everything no true victim of a crime should ever have to hear when telling their story. 

However this isn’t just a story about trauma. It is a story about healing and survival. I found myself rooting for Matty to have a happy ending, because everyone who has suffered any kind of abuse, especially as children, deserve happy endings. 

Waiting for Paint to Dry reminded me of We Are the Light in this way, from the perspective of going through something traumatic and the journey to healing. This is a brilliant, thoughtful, and well written novel. 

Waiting for Paint to Dry is one that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for an uplifting story about healing. That journey is never easy, but it is one that deserves to be talked about and have a voice. Lia Mack gave that journey a voice through this novel. 

Waiting for Paint to Dry
Waiting for Paint to Dry

Final Thoughts on Waiting for Paint to Dry 

This book was one that I struggled to get through, just because of the sensitive topic that Lia Mack picked for the book. I felt the same way about If You Tell. That doesn’t mean it is bad, I actually applaud authors who have the courage to write about tough subjects. 

If you are a survivor of sexual assault and choose to read this book, please take your time, take breaks, process along the way, and just show yourself some kindness and grace as you read it. It may be a struggle for survivors, and it simply may not be a good book for survivors either. 


Have you read Waiting for Paint to Dry from author Lia Mack yet? Are you a fan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

About the Author 

Waiting for Paint to Dry
Waiting for Paint to Dry author Lia Mack

For fans of Jodi Picoult and Paula Hawkins comes the author of hard-hitting fiction… with a dose of healing-humor! 

In addition to Waiting for Paint to Dry, Lia Mack’s creative non-fiction has been seen in such publications as The Washington Post, Nickelodeon Jr. Magazine, Advances in Bereavement Magazine and Nesting Magazine. She is also a guest blogger at Award-Winning Writer/Director Angela Shelton’s Survivor Manual, a blog dedicated to inspiring and empowering sexual abuse survivors.

Born and raised military brat – go Air Force! – Lia Mack is the author of hard hitting fiction, with a dose of healing humor. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband, two children, and an assortment of animals, including a rescue quarantine cat, Meow Meow. 

The debut author of Waiting for Paint to Dry, Mack is raising $10,000 through the sales of her novel to benefit RAINN’s sexual assault hotline (1-800-656-HOPE). 

Purchasing Waiting for Paint to Dry 

If you are interested in buying the paperback version of Waiting for Paint to Dry, click here.

Click here for the Kindle version.

Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.

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Waiting for Paint to Dry


  • Lia Mack

    Thank you so much for your wonderful review! It was definitely a difficult book to write (and then edit). However, I did it for survirors everywhere to see a way to find light at the end of the trauma-healing tunnel.

    And what’s more, it will ALWAYS be free on Apple Books! I feel survivors who need a book like this ought to be able to access it without having to pay.

    If any of your readers need this read and do not have access to Apple Books, know they can reach out to me personally and I will send them a free ebook copy.

    And since you read through it with the notion that it might be funny, I did write a sequel that IS funny! PAINT BY NUMBERS just came out, and I’d love to hear what you think about the novel.

    Thank you again!
    Lia Mack

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