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In the Context of Love Paperback – September 8, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful." ~ Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller, Deep End of the Ocean

"Sienkiewicz's powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. In the Context of Love should be required reading for all wayward teenage girls and their mothers, too." ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of the National Book Award Finalist American Salvage, and the National Bestseller, Once Upon a River

"Absorbing, heartbreaking, compulsively-readable and insightful, Linda Sienkiewicz's In the Context of Love casts a hypnotic spell. This is storytelling at its best." --Lewis Robinson, author of the critically acclaimed, Officer Friendly: and Other Stories, and Water Dogs

"In her dynamic first novel, Linda K. Sienkiewicz takes you on a wild roller coaster ride through love's lowest lows and highest highs, from dark acts of sexual violence to kisses that taste like freedom. In her boldly compelling narrative, Sienkiewicz captures her heroine's harrowing journey with both compassion and passion. Sienkiewicz is a wise, vivid and vital new voice in fiction."
~ Elizabeth Searle, author of the Boston Globe Bestseller, A Four-Sided Bed

"One of those novels that inspires you and makes you want to do better. Angelica is the type of protagonist that everyone can relate to. . . . There is a fulfilling quality to this novel that makes you feel satisfied, but at the same time it makes you want more. . . . Written in a very lyrical way which added a lot more fun to the story line and my reading experience." ~ Rabia Tanveer for Readers Favorite

"In the Context of Love is a lovely book. Linda Sienkiewicz has written a love letter to the wonder and imperfection of everyday life." --Marcy Dermansky, author of the critically acclaimed novels, Twins and Bad Marie

"A smart, compassionate story of first love, adolescent rebellion in the face of family secrets, and the catharsis of reconnection." --Jackie C. Horne, Romance Novels for Feminists

About the Author

Linda K. Sienkiewicz is a published poet and fiction writer, cynical optimist, fan of corgis, tea drinker, and wine lover from Michigan. Her poetry, short stories, and art have been published in more than fifty literary journals, including Prairie Schooner, Clackamas Literary Review, Spoon River, and Permafrost. She received a poetry chapbook award from Bottom Dog Press, and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine. Linda lives with her husband in southeast Michigan, where they spoil their grandchildren and then send them back home.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Buddhapuss Ink LLC (September 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941523048
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941523049
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel loosely takes the form of a letter to a first love from the perspective of many years later. The main character has a story to tell, and she's most interested in sharing it with the love of her life, who is also the one that got away. After a brief intense high school romance, scandal and circumstances tear these two apart and she spends years trying to recover from the split and another family betrayal. A completely unexpected turn in this good-girl into someone even she doesn't recognize lead to bad choices and consequences she could not have foreseen. How she is able to finally stand tall again comes out in her story to the lost love. Sienkiewicz is a poet and it shows in the language, which is exquisite and careful but never weighs down the plot, which carried me through to the end in one reading. I couldn't put it down, couldn't wait to see how the author would resolve this deep heartache. I was not disappointed. This moving story of fated soul mates and the author's unique narrative voice make this book one not to be missed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Despite the bleak beginning of “Context,” when Angelica takes her two children to see their father, Gavin, in prison, the novel turns into a love story with many surprises and twists of plot. Written as a love letter to Angelica's first love, Joe Vardas, Sienkiewicz’s narrative offers complex characters and unexpected plot twists. She has crafted a tale that maintains tension throughout, from the early scenes of high school romance and Joe’s mysterious disappearance, to revelations of dark secrets which Angie discovers as the story progresses.

The book is a page-turner, in part because of the uncertainty about Joe’s fate, but also because Angie encounters surprises which change her concept of who she is. She is a questioner, and with her, we question the significance of all that she finds; we experience what she experiences.

Another unique aspect of the book is the author’s subtle irony. Her depiction of Gavin’s dysfunctional family (“They never receive guests, and they couldn’t renovate a dog house,” Gavin tells her) is astute and detailed. The voice of the author moves from serious , intense and questioning to ironic, and she provides realistic pictures of characters which help to understand their temperaments and origins.

I strongly recommend this book as an engaging, very human story.
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Format: Paperback
Happy, happy, happy goes the melding of two souls. Whether in song or dreams, the lust for life carried in the “bony rib cages” of the young wails out like a shiny muscle car thrown in reverse in 1970s Cleveland. How awesome is that? Pretty awesome if you were there. If you weren’t, here’s your chance. IN THE CONTEXT OF LOVE, written by American author Linda Sienkiewicz takes readers of every generation on a poignant ride through heroine Angelica’s pimply coming of age to the stark revelation in her later life that something got missed along the way. Part family drama, part quest journey, but always deeply introspective, CONTEXT examines the human condition: Who we are? Where we come from? And, most saliently: How much of that really matters? Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters: From virulent intolerance to tacit acceptance, and, finally, a fractured peace, CONTEXT will make you love the grit, sweat, and graffiti that covers its industrial landscape, perhaps all the more, for the promise Sienkiewicz makes on the last page.
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Format: Paperback
Sienkiewicz's characters are flushed out so well they capture the reader immediately. You will remember Angelica long after you have finished the book. She is your mother, your aunt, your sister, your best friend, yourself. This story is universal. The author's writing style is enhanced with poetic description that will capture your imagination. This is a tail of innocence, young love, lust, fear and hatred. It is every woman's story. You will find it difficult to put this book down. I finished hoping there will be another story shared from Angelica's life. One filled with love, wisdom, and wiser self-discovery.
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The story had me interested on page one, hooked by page two. I was helpless to resist. It heaved me in and yanked me forward. Sweet. Compelling. Rough. Raw. It’s the best kind of love story, an honest one. The details about the 70’s were so rich and evocative at points I forgot what decade I lived in. Love. Love. Love. In any context.
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"This is what happened after you left without a word." In the Context of Love is written as a one-sided conversation with Angelica's first love, who, fifteen years later, had become "the scapegoat for everything that had gone wrong in the last fifteen years."

The prose is beautiful, even when the action is gritty. She leads the reader unflinchingly through first love, and the joy, lust, and pain that left a young girl's life permanently altered.

"Your kisses tasted like freedom."
"I wanted to be the opposite of my mother... I was sure I knew more about sex than she did."

Angelica's mother, once nurturing, turns overprotective and obsessive as her daughter begins to grow up. Angelica clashes with her mother, unable to understand that the overprotective behavior is rooted in secrets so deep and so explosive that they will eventually fracture the family.

Angelica's downward spiral is heart-wrenching; you'd step in and save her from her self-destructive behavior if you could--but she's got to find her own way to cope with the wreckage of her life. The book was impossible to put down. Highly recommend!
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