Friday, September 20, 2019

Review: The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


Robin Windsor has spent most of her life under an assumed name, running from her family's ignominious past. She thought she'd finally found sanctuary in her rather unremarkable used bookstore just up the street from the marina in River City, Michigan. But the store is struggling and the past is hot on her heels.

When she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the morning of her father's scheduled execution, Robin is thrown back to the long-lost summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. That book--a first edition Catcher in the Rye--is soon followed by the other books she shared with Peter nearly twenty years ago, with one arriving in the mail each day. But why would Peter be making contact after all these years? And why does she have a sinking feeling that she's about to be exposed all over again?

With evocative prose that recalls the classic novels we love, Erin Bartels pens a story that shows that words--the ones we say, the ones we read, and the ones we write--have more power than we imagine.

My Review

Wow. This book is so well-written. I was captivated from the beginning and didn't put it down until I finished it- the blessing of having half a Saturday free! It was fascinating to see Robin's point of view as a 14 year old and present day adult, her misguided perceptions and the fallout over years from the traumatic events that changed and shaped her life. I appreciated that the alternating then and now format didn't feel like flashbacks, but rather two very connected stories told simultaneously. The details unfold and are revealed throughout the story and feel natural rather than strategic. The relationships in Robin's life are few, but each are valuable and significant. I loved discovering what came next for Robin, her indomitable spirit in the midst of her well-founded fears, and the way she comes to recognize her own growth and experience the sweetness of forgiveness. Highly recommend!!!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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