The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels
I can’t express how much I loved this book. There are no words…they are all between us…can you see them? But seriously, the book is a delight.
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.
As Robin processes the fact that her father, who is on death row, will be executed any day, she remembers back to the time right after he and her mother were pulled from her life, and Robin was sent to River City, MI. Full disclosure, River City is a fictional town, but it’s based on my real hometown: Bay City, MI. It’s remarkably similar to everything I’m very familiar with, but even if you never heard of Bay City, I promise you will enjoy this book.
So Robin remembers the boy and the books, but she broods over them, still not ready to deal with everything they represent, everything they bring to mind. Toss in a refugee employee, a best friend who forces herself into Robin’s life, and a ridiculous, talking parrot, and you have a very interesting, fun, and fascinating story. Did I mention that Robin runs a bookstore? YES! But it’s actually more about the books…and the people…and there’s a dinosaur. Trust me, it’s a very satisfying story. The best bonus is that it takes you to places that are stunning and beautiful in Michigan, but they are places where most people will never physically go.
And the depth of the story makes it rich. There’s enough here to really chew on. I mean, the author has provided high school angsty poetry for our enjoyment as well. (Actually, the poetry is really nice, and it’s about the classic novels…so it’s easy to like.)
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.
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Content: very clean