Customer Reviews: The Myth of You and Me: A Novel
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Leah Stewart's "The Myth of You and Me" is a touching and intimate character study of two girls who become best friends at the age of fourteen. The story is told mostly in flashback. Twenty-nine year old Cameron Wilson is a live-in aide in the home Oliver Doucet, a ninety-two year old Pulitzer Prize winning historian. One day, Cameron is startled to receive a letter from her former friend, Sonia Gray, whom she abandoned after the two had a major quarrel. Sonia is about to get married and she wants to reconcile with Cameron. Although Oliver encourages Cameron to make amends with Sonia, she decides to ignore the letter. Only after Oliver's death does Cameron decide to look Sonia up and try to make peace with her.

With delicacy and compassion, Leah Stewart examines the pain that both Cameron and Sonia suffer as they grow up. Cameron is an Air Force brat who is forced to move six times in fourteen years, and to make matters worse, her classmates taunt her for being the tallest person in her class. Sonia has a severe learning disability, and she endures repeated beatings and tongue lashings from her abusive and psychotic mother. Sonia puts up a brave front in school, but she reveals her weaknesses and insecurities to Cameron. Cameron has never been in one place long enough to get to know her peers, but with Sonia, she feels right at home. After the two girls spend their high school and college years together, it appears that their friendship will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, when they have a bitter falling out over a man, their relationship abruptly ends.

The author beautifully captures the bittersweet nature of female friendship, which can be a source of great comfort or, when things go wrong, of deep anger and hurt. Through Cameron's eyes, Leah Stewart explores the circuitous paths that a woman takes in life, the memories that never leave her, and her feelings of betrayal when someone whom she trusts breaks her heart. The writing in "The Myth of You and Me" is lyrical, romantic, and heartbreaking. Anyone who has ever been lonely, fallen in love, or regretted the loss of a close friend will be enchanted by this gem of a novel.
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VINE VOICEon May 29, 2006
I am the type of person who doesn't always get around to finishing the assigned book club selection. I picked up "The Myth of You and Me" on my own and read it in one sitting. Other recently-hailed novels have failed to draw me in, but Leah Stewart's story presented an emotionally true to life tale, wrapped in the structure of an unfolding mystery, that kept me reading to find out what had happened.

The characters in "The Myth of Your and Me" are not always honest with themselves or others, but that is part of what makes the story true to life. Characters are kept apart by the unresolved gap between perception and reality. I think that each of us has a fear that it people really knew us, they wouldn't like us, and that current is present throughout the novel. Each of us has a guilty memory of a friendship lost due to mutual fault and failure to forgive. As Cameron and Sonia's friendship is revealed in facets, turned around as though viewed through a kaleidoscope, the story will provoke readers to re-examine their own personal events from a more objective viewpoint. Both characters are at fault for the end of their frienship, but perception of who has committed the greater wrong, at what price, shifts as the full story is revealed.

It's refreshing to see a novel where truly shocking behavior doesn't involve overt violence, but consists of actions born of thoughtlessness and cruelty in a moment of anger, without thought for the consequences. How much do we want to punish the ones that we love? What is the cost to ourselves? Stewart provokes tantalizing ambivalence by challenging us to forgive her characters once we really know them. Can these characters forgive one another? Can we forgive ourselves?
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on September 21, 2005
While looking through my local library for something new to read, the cover of Leah Stewart's second novel caught my sight. I was intrigued by both the cover picture and the title of the book. As I opened the cover and read the inside jacket I couldn't wait to get home to start what I believed would be (and was!) one of the best books I'd read in quite some time.

As I began to read the story of Cameron and Sonia, I quickly realized that this book was no ordinary read. The words and language used portrayed the story of two young girls who were so much in love with each other that there lives were never the same even when they were no longer a daily part of each other's lives. As I read the story I thought of my own life growing up and the friends that I had loved and lost. I thought of the pain that both Cameron and Sonia had felt when their relationship fell apart. I thought of how lonely they must of felt in those days and weeks after they had quit speaking.

This novel is one that I would recommend to anyone who as ever had a best friend - even if they are still best friends. It touches on just how fragile a friendship can be and just how little it can take before your whole world comes crashing down around you and you feel like a hollow shell of a person instead of the vibrate and wonderful person that you were just minutes before.

The story of Sonia and Cameron begins when they are just 14. The two become inseperable and struggle together through the hard times including Sonia's struggle with numbers and her struggle with her mother - whose strong words and emotions are always with Sonia. Throughout the book we learn the story of Sonia and Cameron including their demise at a lonely gas station where Cameron leaves Sonia behind because of an ill fated mistake.

This novel is truly a wonderful and moving piece that I would recommend to anyone who has ever had that one person in their life that knows not only what they are doing but what they are thinking too!
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on October 17, 2005
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever left a friend behind or been the one left behind - it was truly touching and at times scary to me how much I could relate to parts of the story. I was looking for something light to read and I picked this up - Leah Stewart has a very straightforward and appealing writing style, so it's definitely an easy read. But more importantly, the story she tells about Cameron and Sonia and all of the other characters in their lives was so REAL that I missed them all terribly when the book ended.
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The main character of this book, Cameron, is content in her job working for Oliver, a famous historian--content to forget about the past and to avoid focusing on the future. But when Oliver suddenly dies, Cameron is forced to deal with both her past and future as she sets out on a mission to find her former best friend, Sonia, to whom she hasn't spoken for 8 years; over the course of Cameron's journey, she comes to question everything she knows about honesty, friendship, and love.

I found this book to be very enjoyable: the author successfully wove past scenes of Cameron and Sonia's friendship with Cameron's present-day efforts to track Sonia down, the characters were realistically flawed, giving the story a very "real" feel, and there was even a build-up of suspense as the inevitable reunion between Cameron and Sonia approached. I enjoyed this book very much and rate it four-and-a-half out of five stars.
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on May 6, 2015
I was lucky...I listened to the audio version so I didn't waste all my time reading it. There were 7 CDs, It hooked me in the beginning, and was interesting as far as the description of the two friends early lives together, but then after about the 4th CD, I began to realize nothing was happening. By the time I finished, I was seriously bored. But I can say I did learn what The Myth of You and Me is really about. The "myth" is that there's an actual story with a plot and good pacing. Because there isn't. It's a boring tale of a boring person and her boring life.
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on July 19, 2006
I began reading this book knowing nothing about it except for the summary on the back cover and was immediately hooked after the first chapter.

Stewart's portrayal of the unrelenting strength of a close friendship between two girls from childhood to adulthood is spot on. Cameron and Sonia will forever be with me.
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on August 30, 2005
The letter contained a handwriting that looked familiar to that of the recipient twenty-nine years old Cameron Wilson. It came from her former best friend Sonia Gray; they have not talked to each other in eight years. Now Sonia wants her to come to her wedding in Cambridge. Her employer and companion, nonagenarian Oliver Doucett pleads with her to go see her former friend but Cameron refuses still feeling that Sonia betrayed her.

Oliver dies, but leaves one last request of Cameron. He wants her to deliver a wedding gift from him to Sonia. Stunned Cameron realizes her two best friends were communicating. Cameron honors Oliver's last wish of her, driving from Oxford, Mississippi to Sonia's house, but she is not there. She thinks back on when they first met in Clovis, New Mexico and became best buddies and later when Sonia was seeing Will Barrett who Camazon as she was called for her height hid her love of him. As Cameron tracks down her missing friend, she finds Will who she still loved and others from her past, but wonders what will happen when she runs into the girl she loved as her sister until she committed the ultimate betrayal.

THE MYTH OF YOU AND ME is a fantastic look at friendship from the perspective of a person who felt her best friend betrayed her so she deserted her former pal. The story line follows Cameron as she tracks Sonia, but also looks back on her relationship with her beloved "sister". Readers will want to know what Oliver tried to give Sonia and Cameron, what was the betrayal and root for a happy ending with this insightful look at friendship.

Harriet Klausner
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on November 9, 2005
Amazing words, superb story, touching subject. I can't rave enough about this book. It explores friendships & relationships in a way no book I've ever known has done before. Leah Stewart has the perfect method to tell this deep story and uses the most amazing words in the process.

And a big YEAH! to the 2 references to Fleetwood Mac in this book.

I can't wait to read more Leah Stewart!
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on November 12, 2005
This is a story about the people who enter and leave your life. It was a great read. Dont miss this one.
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