Title: The Words Between Us
Author: Erin Bartels
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publishing Date: Sept 3, 2019
Length: 358 Pages
About the Book:
Robin Windsor has spent most of her life under an assumed name, running from her family’s ignominious past. She thought she’d finally found sanctuary in her rather unremarkable used bookstore just up the street from the marina in River City, Michigan. But the store is struggling and the past is hot on her heels.
When she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the morning of her father’s scheduled execution, Robin is thrown back to the long-lost summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. That book–a first edition Catcher in the Rye–is soon followed by the other books she shared with Peter nearly twenty years ago, with one arriving in the mail each day. But why would Peter be making contact after all these years? And why does she have a sinking feeling that she’s about to be exposed all over again?
With evocative prose that recalls the classic novels we love, Erin Bartels pens a story that shows that words–the ones we say, the ones we read, and the ones we write–have more power than we imagine.
From the very first chapter this story gripped my attention and held me in anticipation for what was to come. My heart went out to Robin for the pain she’d endured during her lifetime and I held high hopes for her to find peace and healing. Unfortunately my expectations also led me to have some very strong mixed feelings toward this novel.
The point of Christian Fiction should be to give glory to God and point others to Christ. If the book is about Christians without any drive for encouraging faith, or if it’s simply a clean read without faith present… then in essence it fails to accomplish it’s key goal. Not every book has to have the gospel spelled out like a sermon or give step by step directions to faith, but they should at least be planting seeds and forcing the readers to think and look upward. Unfortunately I read through this entire book waiting for the faith element and it never came. This novel would have been great for a secular market but as far as Christian fiction is concerned it completely missed the mark.
The story itself was gripping and easily kept the pages turning. I thoroughly loved Robin and Peter’s connection through literature and how that not only helped their relationship form initially, but also to heal later in life. True book lovers would rejoice over the plethora of references to book love. The story was split between Robin’s childhood following her parents’ incarceration and her life as an adult struggling to save her little bookstore. Her journey through life was an intriguing story to read.
If you take this book as a general fiction read I would easily be able to recommend it, however if you are looking for a true Christian fiction novel I would direct you to look elsewhere.
*I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours and NetGalley. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.
There is currently a social media takeover tour with Just Read Tours that includes a giveaway for a copy of The Words Between Us and We Hope for Better Things along with a Bookish Mug/tote! Click the icon below to be taken to my Facebook page for more info 🙂
Good review. I’ve been thinking of reading it. Our local library doesn’t have it, but I’ve seen it at the bookstore. I’ll think about it some more before I buy it. 🙂
It really was a good story and would have received a bigger star rating from me if only it had Christian content. As a general fiction novel it was a great read
Great review, Becca!
Excellent review. I appreciate your honesty, and I love that I know what to expect now. I’m not scheduled to review this book, but I’ve been intrigued by all the reviews I’ve seen lately. Maybe I’ll be able to get to it soon.
As I said, if you look at it as a general fiction novel it WAS a very good story and I think you would enjoy it. It just didn’t see it falling under CF.
Nice, honest review Becca. It sounds like a wonderful, clean story which is something I enjoy, so I will definitely be keeping this one on my list.
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