With an intense interest in investigative journalism and near-perfect performance in university, Amélie transforms herself into “Am,” a fiercely independent and unfettered woman.When she learns of a dark family secret that puts her past into perspective, she commits whole heartedly to her work– that is, until she meets Charles Stonebridge. Am and Charles immediately hit it off and quickly move in together, but after their twins are born the relationship deteriorates. Am desperately tries to hold on to their romance, while navigating the ups and downs of new parenthood and relaunching her shuttered career, but eventually they drift apart, in the process disclosing shocking personal revelations and past trauma.
Auburne’s story is more literary fiction than commercial romance, brimming with intense character insight and development. Am is a stand out protagonist—equal parts strength and vulnerability—who will resonate with readers, and her eventual full-circle transformation is a declaration of resilience. Despite some of the lengthy prose passages, and a slightly anticlimactic ending, readers will appreciate the depth of Am’s personal journey and metamorphosis–through painful relationships, debilitating self-beliefs, and deaths of loved ones, she manages to stay standing. This story is unsteady at times, but it will reward the interest of readers of fiction centered on vividly rendered women.
Takeaway: A woman works through her painful past and its far-reaching impacts in this stirring account.
Great for fans of: Kristina McMorris’s Sold on a Monday, Barbara O’Neal’s Write My Name Across the Sky.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A