About the book: Melanie runs away. From conflict. From pain. From reality.
When novelist Melanie Vander faces a looming deadline, she decides it’s time for an escape to an inspiring, novel-worthy locale. She’s not running away. Really. She just needs time to focus. But as she disappears into her writing, she encounters a man whose tenderness leaves her reeling. Engaging and wise, psychologist Elliot Hammond tempts Melanie to question everything, including her marriage.
But that’s ridiculous. Dr. Hammond isn’t even…real.
Melanie’s husband, Craig, has his own problems, including a recession that’s threatening his business. Waning finances, a looming home foreclosure, and a wife who’s checked out emotionally, has Craig feeling as though he’s carrying his burdens alone. When his client, the beautiful and single Serena Buchanan, offers him a solution to his financial woes, he’s tempted by more than her offer of a business solution.
At a crossroads, Melanie and Craig seem headed in opposite directions.
As Melanie runs away from her problems by escaping into her own fictional world, Craig dives into his struggles, seeking God for strength and healing for his marriage. Ultimately, Melanie must choose whether she’ll check out completely, or allow her characters to lead her home.
Paperback, 320 pages Published April 1, 2017 by Shiloh Run Press
My review: This was my first Ginny Yttrup book and I quite enjoyed it. The story was very different from any I’ve read and her writing style just made everything seem so real and authentic. This was a book that was easy to read yet, at times, difficult to read. It wasn’t a light, airy read but one that is relatable.
From the beginning I could see the detachment between Melanie and Craig. The two have been married for twenty-three years and it was easy to see that they were perhaps stuck in a rut. It was almost as if both had given up on their marriage and were just going through the motions. Melanie, an author, lives more in a fictional world than her husband, Craig, who builds houses. Craig is the one who lives in reality and is more of a take-charge kind of person. It was easy for me to see his frustration with his wife. There was so much that seemed real to this story that it left me wondering if the author was using her own life as inspiration for parts of the story. I did enjoy the way the author went back and forth and told the story from both characters point-of-view. It kept the story feeling more authentic and also less confusing since the reader also gets to read snippets of the book Melanie is writing.
The next-door neighbors were a nice addition to the story and especially the struggles of Jill. Jill is a freelance editor and works with Melanie. It is hard to say the two are close friends at the beginning but it is easy to see the shift in their relationship as the story progresses. Jill is facing her own battles and the chapters dedicated to her and her problems were a unique addition to the story.
As a lover of books and someone who enjoys reading about the writing process, I loved the way the author incorporated the process of writing a book into the story. This is another one of those things that made the story that much more real. Some of the terms she used were familiar to me and lent another layer of reality to the story.
If you are looking for a light read then don’t pick up this book. This is a heavier read so if you are looking for a book that is full of emotion then this would be a great book to pick up. This would be a terrific book club selection.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
About the author: Ginny L. Yttrup is the award-winning author of Words, Lost and Found, Invisible, Flames, and Home which released April 1, 2017. She writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys exploring the issues everyday women face. Publishers Weekly dubbed Ginny’s work “as inspiring as it is entertaining.” When not writing, Ginny coaches writers, critiques manuscripts, and makes vintage-style jewelry for her Esty shop, Storied Jewelry. She loves dining with friends, hanging out with her adult sons, or spending a day in her pajamas reading a great novel. Ginny lives in northern California with Bear, The Entitled Pomeranian.