FICTION

The Words Between Us

Baker. Sept. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9780800734923. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781493419302. CF
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This sweet love story from Bartels (We Hope for Better Things) unfolds over the span of 20 years in chapters that alternate between two time lines: the late 1990s, when Robin and Peter are getting to know each other, and the present, tracing Robin’s own story in her adult years. Robin’s experience hasn’t been easy, which in part has led to her reclusive existence as a small-town bookstore owner. Having both parents sent to prison will cause a child to grow up real fast. When she starts receiving mysterious packages of books she used to love, Robin recalls a six-month period in her teens when life was a little sweeter. Meeting Peter gave her hope and encouragement. Through their connection of the written word and love for classic novels, their friendship blossomed when everything else seemed dark. Now, 20 years later, Robin is still trying to work through the tough events that led her to River City, MI.
VERDICT Fans of Jenny B. Jones and Courtney Walsh will be drawn to this engaging, heartfelt story.

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