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Publication Date: 4/21/2010 (print)
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, LLC
Genre: Adult Fiction
Propelled by an insurmountable sense of desperation, Stevie Burke is recklessly abandoning home, husband, and outwardly contented life under cover of night; at last resigned to defeat in her long battle against the tortured memories of her past.
**I received an eBook copy from the author in exchange for an honest review**
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but I was very intrigued by the synopsis and I thought it would definitely be worth my time to read it. The story starts out with Stevie, the main character, deciding to leave her husband. It's immediately apparent that she's dealing with some very personal demons, but they are not revealed right away. Instead, we are taken back 12 years to when the troubles began, which give a very clear (and at times disturbing) picture of some pivotal moments in Stevie's life. We are then able to follow her through the years to see what ultimately leads her down the path that she chooses.
I really liked Stevie. She was incredibly easy to connect with and relate to; at times she was a bit naive, but her heart was always in the right place. I would also say she is incredibly strong, because she ends up going through a lot in that time period, yet somehow she perseveres, although she certainly could have benefited from some therapy.
Stevie has an older sister, Eleanor, who tries to act more worldly and sophisticated than she really is. The first part of the book follows the girls as they spend their summers at their aunt and uncle's house by the beach; even though they fight a lot, as I'm sure most teenage sisters do, it's obvious that they care a lot for each other. Eleanor was exasperating at times, but when she dropped her "I'm more mature than you" attitude she was actually very likable.
There are two boys/men that come into Stevie's life. First is Jake, with whom both Stevie and Eleanor become mildly obsessed with during their summer vacations. It's Stevie and her warm, open personality that win Jake over, and as the years pass they begin to have more serious feelings for each other. Then there's Ash, who she ends up meeting several years down the road; she claims to hate him at first, although it's a case of "she doth protest too much" since there is obvious chemistry between them. I really liked both guys, but they were each a part of a different part of Stevie's life. By the time she met Ash, she was a much different person. I didn't even brush the surface of the events that changed her life, but I don't want to give any major plot points so you will have to read it for yourself to find out what happens!
The only negative I could say about this book is that there are times when the story skips forward months or years, and it's confusing as to how much time has passed. I wouldn't say it's very distracting, but it did make me pause and wonder how much time was passing between major events.
I truly enjoyed this book, from the well written characters to the intriguing story line. Some of main plot events were obvious and expected; others caught me completely off guard. I had trouble putting it down, anxious to find out what was going to happen next in Stevie's life. I'm glad I got the chance to read this one; I think there's a good balance of drama, romance, humor, and secrets to please almost every reader.
If you would like to learn more about the author, Barbara Forte Abate, make sure you check out her webpage and Twitter.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 10:00 AM