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The Words between Us: A Novel Paperback – September 3, 2019
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From the Back Cover
--Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and The Promise between Us
Robin Windsor has spent much of her life under an assumed name to avoid association with her infamous parents. She thought she'd finally found sanctuary running her used bookstore in quiet River City, Michigan. But 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 summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. Why would Peter be making contact now? 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.
"Erin Bartels has created a story that feels more like a memory, something I lived, than a piece of fiction. If you are the kind of person who finds meaning and life in the written word, then you'll find yourself hidden among these pages."--Shawn Smucker, author of Light from Distant Stars
"Vividly drawn and told in expertly woven dual timelines. Erin's characters are a treat: complex, dynamic, and so lifelike I half expected them to climb straight out of the pages."--Kathleen Barber, author of Truth Be Told
Erin Bartels is the author of We Hope for Better Things. She grew up in the Bay City, Michigan, area, upon which River City is based, and has spent much of her life waiting on drawbridges. She now lives in Michigan's capital city with her husband, Zachary, and their son.
About the Author
- Item Weight : 11.7 ounces
- ISBN-10 : 0800734920
- ISBN-13 : 978-0800734923
- Paperback : 384 pages
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.96 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : Revell (September 3, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #407,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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What I Loved
Right from the start, I found our main character Robin so relatable. Running a bookstore (except for some of the logistics) sounds like a dream job, and I am absolutely the kind of person who has to be dragged into being social on most occasions. I definitely understood her appreciation and value of books throughout the story.
Speaking of books, if they, as a whole, could be a character, they certainly were in this story. From serving as an introduction between our main characters to becoming the way they communicate in the past and the present, novels played a central role and hit all of the right nostalgia notes for this reader. It definitely had the nostalgia element of reading some of the mentioned books for the first time.
For the plot, while I’m not normally a fan of switching between timelines, I love the effect it can have when properly done. Bartels perfectly pairs the story of Peter and Robin’s relationship in the past with Robin’s current storyline—while continuing to build my interesting in learning what happened to make that relationship fall apart.
Altogether, “The Words Between Us” was a sweet story, complete with the right mix of highs and lows and a perfectly satisfying conclusion. I was so absorbed in Robin’s journey that I barely put the book down during the two days that it took me to read it.
What I Didn’t Love
To be honest, the only things I can possibly say about this book that I would potentially change are incredibly minor. It would have been nice to see more depth from some of the other characters throughout the story, but I think that a great deal of that is due to the story being from Robin’s perspective, which I feel was a key element of the book. Along with the ending feeling just slightly abrupt and wanting to see more progress in Robin’s journey of faith, these are the only things I would have liked to see more of.
Read If You Love:
Books about books
I received this book as part of the Revell Reads program in order to write a review. The statements of the review are entirely my own, honest opinion of the book.
A woman finds herself in a crisis of sorts, and remembers back to the origin of that crisis, and the boy who helped her through it. Classic novels cemented the friendship between them, and the books begin to make a reappearance in her life 13 years later.
I feel like this book is different from your typical novel about a bookstore. It’s more about the woman who thought she’d try this business to escape from reality, and instead, it helps her face it.
I love the growth of the characters – even the sidekick has a worthy character arc. I love the description of classic novels through the eyes of a reader. I love the romance – which is definitely only a subplot. And I love that this story is about words. Words do get between us in most relationships. Words that are spoken and unspoken. Words can hurt and words can heal, but how you choose to use your words will determine everything. So choose carefully. And go read these words that Erin wrote. They are beautiful.
Ms. Bartels did not disappoint. While I liked the characters and the very different and unique story, the thing that most captivated my attention was the extraordinary writing. The words flowed beautifully off the page and gently pulled me into each scene. I will eagerly read other works by this gifted author! (I also appreciated the absence of profanity or explicit sexuality.)
Erin Bartels is a beautiful writer with a sensitive heart and a gift for excavating the human heart.