Sunday, July 8, 2018

BETWEEN YOU & ME by Susan Wiggs

Publisher:     William Morrow
Published:     June 26, 2018
ISBN:        978-0062425539
Genre:      Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



Ten year old Jonah Stoltz may have started to dream of the life he would want, but a tragic accident has cut short the chance for those dreams.  Reese Powell has buried any dreams she may have had.  Caleb Stoltz had dreams that in a split second came to an end.  Yet in a moment of shock and tragedy these three people may have a chance to find new dreams, dreams filled with a joy they could never have seen until they are brought together.

Reese Powell has been on a straight and steady trajectory toward not only a speciality in paediatric surgery, but to become a part of her very successful parents’ medical practice.  Every step of her life has been toward the best schools, the highest grades, the right people and the most favourable position.  At no point did her parents ask what she wanted and at no time did she feel she could tell them what they wanted for her was not what she wanted for herself. 

Following the death of his brother and sister-in-law, Caleb Stoltz took on the care of their two young children, Hannah and Jonah.  Before his brother, John, died, he asked Caleb to raise Hannah and Jonah as Plain—as part of the Amish community they came from.  Caleb agreed, but at the cost of giving up his own dreams.  He has tried to live in the Amish way, despite how he disagrees with some of the ways, he has done his best, especially in how he has raised John’s children.  But one morning, as Jonah runs out to complete his chores a terrible accident happens.  In a life changing moment  Jonah and Caleb are on board a life flight helicopter and on their way to a trauma center where Jonah’s life might be saved.  At the helm of the trauma center is intern, soon to be doctor, Reese Powell.   

From the moment she meets Caleb she cannot stop thinking about him or his nephew, Jonah.  As Jonah begins the long road toward recovery she finds herself seeking the Stoltzes out more and more.  Despite her best efforts, she finds herself falling in love with the quiet and unassuming Amish man.

But theirs is a relationship that can never be – they come from different cultures, different perspectives, different rules of living, different dreams.  Or is their love strong enough to bridge those differences?

Susan Wiggs’ latest book, BETWEEN YOU & ME is nothing short of amazing.  It is, perhaps, her best story yet.  Told with compassion and understanding she takes her readers into not one complex world, but several.  There are layers to the story and she carefully and engagingly, builds on each layer.  As you meet each character you want to know more about them, you want to be a part of their lives and to travel their paths with them.  Even Caleb’s father, who you want to shake and scream at to open his eyes, who could be drawn as a caricature, is presented in a thoughtful and complex way.  Wiggs’ takes the time to help her readers understand what drives him.

The setting in an Amish community is skilfully contrasted with the modern, bustling world of Philadelphia and the surrounding city.  The love story’s twists and turns, the heartbreak of not being able to be with the one you love is poignant and movingly told. 

Over the years I’ve read pretty much all of Wiggs’ books but this one, BETWEEN YOU & ME, is the best yet.  It is one you do not want to miss.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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