FICTION

Swear on This Life

Atria. Aug. 2016. 306p. ISBN 9781501105791. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781501105807. F
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Imagine picking up a novel that everyone is reading and talking about and quickly realizing that it is your own life story. That happens to Emiline, an adjunct writing instructor in San Diego, who is struggling with her writing career and personal life. She knows that the author, J. Colby, must be Jase, the childhood best friend whom she has not seen or heard from in over a decade. Emi and Jase bonded as children growing up in dysfunctional families at the end of a dirt road in rural Ohio. They helped each other survive and eventually fell in love. Emi cannot understand how Jase would exploit their past in this way and especially why he would tell the story from her point of view. Meanwhile, she must deal with knowing that she has never been able to commit wholeheartedly to her boyfriend or to her writing. This is a novel within a novel, in which chapters from Jase's book serve as flashbacks to the past. It all leads to a dramatic reunion.
VERDICT Romance fans will find this heartfelt story of resilience and first love hard to put down.

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