Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020 Book 5: YOU WERE THERE TOO by Colleen Oakley



You Were There Too  by Colleen Oakley 
ISBN: 9781984806468 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781984806475 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780593151150 (audiobook - digital)
ASIN: B07RLY8RM6  (Audible edition)
ASIN: B07QPKR9YH  (Kindle edition)
Publication date: January 7, 2020 
Publisher: Berkley


Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon's life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn't think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he's been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?




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Mia and Dr. Harrison Graydon seem to have the perfect marriage. They've been married for a number of years and the only true tragedy they've had to deal with are several miscarriages. They've recently relocated from Philadelphia to a small, rural town and Harrison is working at a local hospital. Mia is still focused on her art work, but has yet to find a job. They're both looking forward to having a child as Mia is currently pregnant. Then tragedy strikes again and Mia has another miscarriage. Mia is emotionally distraught over losing another baby and eagerly latches onto her OB/GYN's advice to see a specialist for an evaluation. It's at that point that Mia and Harrison encounter their first true marital hurdle. Harrison is at a point where he wants to give up on the notion of having kids and Mia wants to continue no matter what. While Mia is dealing with the emotional overload from the miscarriage and Harrison's apparent change of mind in terms of having a child, she also runs into her "dream man." Oliver is someone that Mia has dreamt about for a number of years and to finally see him in this small town makes her begin to question everything. When Harrison takes Mia over to dinner at Oliver's sister's house, things get even more strange because Oliver indicates that he has been dreaming about Mia for quite sometime as well. As Oliver and Mia explore the possible meaning of their linked dreams, Mia and Harrison begin to pull apart. Are Oliver and Mia meant to be together or is it supposed to be Harrison and Mia?

I've only read one other book by Colleen Oakley, but I enjoyed it so much that when I had the opportunity to read and review You Were There Too, I jumped at the chance. I'm so glad I did! This is not your typical romance story, nor is it a typical story of two married people growing apart. What it is about is growth in relationships, self-discovery, and change. I enjoyed all of the characters and especially the interactions between Mia and Harrison, Mia and Oliver, and Mia and her girlfriend Raya. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mia's sister's name was Vivian. (Hey, I love finding my name in fiction as long as the character isn't a homicidal maniac!) Yes, there's a lot going on in this story, marital stress, work-related stress, the stress from having a miscarriage, the stress from not finding a job, the stress from not having your art appreciated or sold... basically a lot of normal adult stress. There's also a lot of joy, joy found from being with family, friends, and lovers/mates. There's also sadness, some from the miscarriage and some from a totally unexpected twist near the end of the story (and no, I won't tell you what it is, read it for yourself!). You Were There Too is a story about love, family, friendship, marriage, joy, heartbreak, and above all, possibilities. For those of you that have read anything by Ms. Oakley in the past, I probably don't have to tell you to add this book to your TBR list, but I will anyway. For those of you looking for realistic fiction that incorporates family dynamics, marital life, bits of romance, and more, then I urge you to add this to your TBR list. Something tells me that this is one of those books that I'll be rereading in the near future. I enjoyed reading You Were There Too and I only hope you'll enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Happy Reading!

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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