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The Two of Us Paperback – August 8, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From the Back Cover
"...a satisfying and uplifting read."--RT Book Reviews on Someone Like You
After two broken engagements, Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she's focusing on God and her goal to join an international aid organization as a nurse practitioner. But when her 18-year-old sister, Lucy, calls with an invitation to her Vegas wedding, it throws a wrench into Mia's plans.
Jake Tanner has recovered from the injuries he sustained as a police officer--on the outside. Inside, he's yet to heal from losing his partner in the tragedy, but finds some solace in keeping an eye on her young adult son, Sam, who's asked him to be best man at his wedding.
Mia expects a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake, who views the marriage a little differently. As Jake's and Mia's lives slowly become more intertwined, could his courage and her caring heart be enough to bring them a lifetime of healing?
"This fast-paced novel overcomes many emotional, physical and spiritual obstacles. Readers see the characters' spiritual struggles and how the characters prevail over their doubts and fears. This great inspirational romance follows two couples in very different situations."--RT Book Reviews
"Bylin captures what it means to trust implicitly in God in this tale of rediscovering faith in love after failed relationships. . . . Jake and Mia's journey toward love and reaffirmation of faith helps them both through past pain to find a deeper understanding of God. This joyous story will speak deeply to the hearts of Christian readers."--Publishers Weekly
"Intriguing, relatable plot, subplots, and character developments interweave with grace, faith, and love. Recommend to contemporary inspirational romance fiction fans."--Christian Market
About the Author
Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances acclaimed for their true-to-life characters and stories. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards, and the Reviewers' Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. Visit her website at www.victoriabylin.com to find out more.
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Top customer reviews
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Early on in the story my favorite words were spoken at Lucy and Sam's wedding, "Love is a choice. It's keeping promises when they're tough to keep. It's staying when you want to leave. And it's seeing the other person through the same forgiving lens through which God sees us all. Marriage is a conscious act." What amazing and sobering words, I had to pause and soak them in, pondering them in my own heart.
Both sisters have men in their lives, Lucy marries Sam and Mia is attracted to Jake. I must say, I was as frustrated with Mia's indecisiveness as Jake was, beyond frustrated actually, until she said something that turned my heart towards her, "She longed to believe in forever, like a little girl reading a fairy tale, but her experience mocked her hope." Such is the talent of Victoria Bylin, one minute I'm frustrated at Mia's lack of commitment and the next minute I feel compassion for her. I started talking to Mia along the way, "Girl, what are you thinking? just go for it!" It takes an exceptional author to make me start talking to characters, and pull out the gamut of emotions this story brought out in me. When Mia finally had her breakthrough moment and cried, I cried too.
The Two of us has love stories happening on multiple levels, the complicated relationship between two sisters, a romantic love story for each sister, and a deeply moving love story between an older couple and the dedication one has to the other through the horrifying illness that is Alzheimer's. Each story is told with such a depth of understanding and feeling I'm still trying to find enough words to describe the power and triumph found in them.
The last couple of chapters were so intense I couldn't read them fast enough. The story had an epilogue, which I always love a book to have, and it was perfect, just perfect! I've read all four of Victoria's contemporary novels and I can only say, she keeps getting better and better with each one. I'd love to see a sequel to this story and revisit Echo Falls, soon!. I applaud Victoria Bylin's superb storytelling and look forward to her future works.
However, two aspects of the novel kept me from wholeheartedly embracing it. The first is regarding Mia's sister Lucy and Lucy's husband Sam. While their parts of the novel were fine, I really just wanted to get back to Jake and Mia! Near the end of the novel, Lucy and Sam have a discussion about trusting God, and, while everything they said was true, their conversation didn't ring true in the situation. This is in stark contrast to Jake's and Mia's faith situations—everything they experienced and the conclusions they reached felt authentic. I think the novel would've been stronger if Lucy and Sam's story had been a little less prominent.
The second thing that kept me from loving the novel--and really is what all of my emotions regarding the book are rooted in--is a plot point involving Alzheimer's disease. This is a pretty prominent plot thread, and I actually have no complaints with how it was written; I just wish the publisher had given a hint in the book's description that Alzheimer's would play a role in the story. As someone who watched her grandfather succumb to the disease, I can attest that Bylin's portrayal is spot on. But it was also painful to relive my grandfather's illness as I read the book and saw the character exhibiting some of the same behaviors I witnessed in my grandfather. I wish the publisher had given a hint of the content through the book description; then I could've made an informed choice about whether or not I wanted to read the novel. As it was, I felt blindsided.
Overall, The Two of Us is a good book with just a couple things that could have been done better. While it was difficult for me to read, people who haven't had such a personal experience with dementia probably won't react the way I did.
Disclosure of material connection: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.
Most recent customer reviews
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