Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Future She Left Behind: A Book Review

Authors are advised to "blow something up" in the first five pages of a novel, to grab a reader's attention. Marin Thomas does exactly that in THE FUTURE SHE LEFT BEHIND, blowing up protagonist Katelyn Chandler's comfortable life by introducing a divorce decree that ends twenty years of marriage.

Katelyn commences on a journey of personal discovery as a way to recover from the shock, with her mother-in-law along for the ride. Their relationship is stereotypical, but when you want light reading, it's not a flaw.

Back home in small town Texas, our heroine reconnects with her mother who's been largely ignored while Katelyn was doing the dutiful mammy thing and being what she thought was a good wife. She contends with some old feelings for the town bad boy who was once her darling, back before she set off for the big wide world to pursue her artistic talents.

There's the usual twining and twisting of personal interaction, romance blossoming all around, while Katelyn and Jackson dance around their past with eyes on a potential future. Sexual tension abounds, and let's not forget Katelyn's mother-in-law softening her hard edges as she develops an affection for the local widower.

Lots of touchy feelies to be had in this novel that moves along at a nice pace, though it does drag a bit through the middle. A large chunk of prose is taken up to show his difficulties in dealing with his alcoholism and recovery that could have been edited a bit for length.

All in all, THE FUTURE SHE LEFT BEHIND is perfect for a weekend read when you want to escape from the madness of the real world and go to a place where everyone is happy in the end. We need more of that than ever these days.

Thanks to Penguin Random House for the review copy.