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Paperback Book Details
  • 01/2023
  • 9781639887552 B0BRVFT44S
  • 252 pages
  • $16.99
Kirsten Pursell
Long Enough to Love You

Adult; Romance; (Market)

A coming-of-middle age story that follows Jenn, who is imperfect, confused, but resolved, as she dissects and unpacks her marriage in an emotional journey to stay true to herself despite societal norms and middle-age stereotypes that would suggest otherwise. The chance discovery of her long-forgotten diaries unearths memories of Tripp, her first love. Her words become a very real reminder of everything first love had been when she reconnects with him in unexpected ways. It is a love story of self, of past, present, and future.
Pursell (Company Clown) merges romance and self-discovery in this appealing contemplation of the “parts and pieces” that comprise a life story. Jenn, facing an empty nest when her youngest child heads off to college, is lost in regret over her secure—but lukewarm—marriage to Mark. When she attempts to ask Mark for space, she’s hit with the sudden death of her mother, and the torrent of family secrets that emerge in the aftermath threaten not only her childhood memories, but also her identity as a grown woman. In her hunt for answers, Jenn stumbles across diaries from her youth—diaries that light a long forgotten spark she thought was extinguished years ago.

Jenn’s quest for meaning will resonate with any woman looking back on her life—or wondering what the future may hold. Her struggle to come to grips with a lack of purpose is powerful, as is the dissonance when she recalls past flings and compares them to her safe, predictable marriage. After deciding to reconnect with Tripp, her steamy summer hookup after her senior year of high school, Jenn unlocks the door to her past and sets off a series of explosive moments, between herself and Tripp as well as with Mark, who’s trying his best to rekindle what may have never truly existed. Suddenly Jenn’s faced with more passion than she ever imagined, balanced by an equal share of heartache, and in the midst, she wonders how to find “the freedom to be okay to experiment and explore the world again.”

The idea of finding yourself by losing yourself is intriguing here, and Jenn’s willingness to sacrifice comfort for intensity is equally courageous and risky. Ultimately that gamble pays off, and she’s granted a second chance at unrestrained love, but the overriding message that wholeness can be formed from imperfection is the essence that will stick with readers.

Takeaway: A reflective story of self-discovery, second chances, and daring to take a chance.

Great for fans of: Robyn Carr’s Never Too Late, Lucy Score’s The Last Second Chance.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: A

Literary Titan

Long Enough to Love You by Kirsten Pursell is the story of Jenn, an empty nester who realizes she’s not happy in her marriage to her husband, Mark. Constantly racked with wanting to cut loose or stay safe, the pair begin marriage counseling with marginal results. However, Jenn still feels unappreciated by her husband and wants to break free. She eventually reconnects with her first love, a man called Tripp, and he makes her feel desired again. The two begin an affair that starts with flirty texts and ends in a passionate weekend, but they both know it could never be more. Will Jenn find what makes her feel whole again, or will she stay safe?

Author Kirsten Pursell brings to life the emotions of what a woman feels when she becomes an empty nester and soon realizes that she is in a loveless marriage. Making this read all too relatable for many women. It shows that moment when you have to adjust to a new life stage and think about what really makes you happy. Pursell highlights the journey one takes to rediscover themselves without kids or a husband to define who they are.

This gripping book delivered a good message: beauty is in every age, not just youth, and you can find love at any age. I felt a lot of bombshells were dropped on the reader at the beginning making this one read that I couldn’t put down. I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster alongside Jenn and her journey to self-discovery. I connected with Jenn because she shared with readers what she feels and misses, and I felt her loneliness. I feel many readers will be able to relate to Jenn, and you will begin to care for her and want to know if she finds her happiness or not.

Long Enough to Love, You is a captivating romance and self-discovery story. If you are looking for a contemporary romance that is for older lovers, I recommend this heartfelt book. It redefines beauty and love for all ages so that youth doesn’t have all the fun.

Reader's Favorite

Long Enough to Love You by Kirsten Pursell is Jenn’s story on finding your own happily ever after. Fifty-four-year-old Jenn feels like a donut; whole on the outside but empty inside. With her children away living independent lives, and a husband that doesn’t see her as she wants, she begins to confront her emptiness. The silence in her home becomes louder, and the voices in her head argue fiercer, urging her to leave safe and simple, and that the missing ten percent was worth upending her life for. With the chance discovery of diaries from her youth, Jenn rediscovers her first love, and now she stands at the precipice, ready to risk it all.

Kirsten Pursell's Long Enough to Love You has it all and faces real issues head-on: love, friendship, mid-life crises, the death of loved ones, empty nesting, sex, and navigating the deep waters of being alone with a partner you’ve neglected for too long in favor of your children. With a highly relatable protagonist, Pursell defies middle-aged stereotypes and writes Jenn’s sexuality like it is. Long Enough to Love You is bold and cathartic and screams that you are never too old to find love, and it’s not ever after, but happily ever after that is worth looking for. The charming book cover sucks you into Jenn’s story, but it’s Pursell’s brilliant writing and wonderful storyline that compels you to stay, to follow Jenn’s story as she purges her emotions, and struggles to find herself again. it’s not just Jenn’s story, it's yours too.

The Book Commentary

''Love can be uniquely beautiful in its most raw, honest, and emotional way.'' Jenn embarks on an unforgettable journey as she fights to find and reignite the vibrant and free-spirited person she once was. She discovers that divorce doesn't mean the end as she reunites with her first love, who helps her to find the love and passion that lay dormant inside of her in author Kirsten Pursell's Long Enough to Love You

This book is a romantic, appealing read where the character stays true to herself and is steadfast with what she wants despite middle-aged patterns and societal norms. It's liberating once you've discovered who you are, and the author humanizes Jenn in this way. The reader can follow the ebbs and flows of life, and feel the pain, the excitement, and the reigniting of self within this character, which makes her relatable. 

Revisiting one's past isn't damaging in this case. This book is buoyant and relevant to those who may question their lives after divorce, having kids, or what life may look like for them after so much time has passed. The author emphasizes self-love, self-identity, and the place of a woman's vulnerability in this spellbinding book. Long Enough to Love You is in turn, chaotic and cathartic and Pursell celebrates Jenn's willingness to be vulnerable, at times uncertain and exhilarating. A poignant story written beautifully that takes a closer look into Jenn's past, present, and possible future. It is authentic and unexaggerated, a gripping romance with clear prose and complex characters. 

Paperback Book Details
  • 01/2023
  • 9781639887552 B0BRVFT44S
  • 252 pages
  • $16.99