The Words between Us: A Novel

The Words between Us: A Novel

by Erin Bartels

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Overview

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.

*****

"The Words between Us is a story to savor and share: a lyrical novel about the power of language and the search for salvation. A secondhand bookstore owner hiding from a legacy of scandal, tragedy, and heartbreak must unlock the secrets of the past to claim her happiness. I loved every sentence, every word."--Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and The Promise between Us

"Erin Bartels has done it again. She's created a story that has set up camp in my mind and now feels more like a memory, something I lived, than a piece of fiction. The added benefit is that it's a story about books, some of the best ones ever written. If you are the kind of person who finds meaning and life in the written word, then you'll find yourself hidden among these pages."--Shawn Smucker, author of Light from Distant Stars

"Vividly drawn and told in expertly woven dual timelines, The Words between Us is a story about a woman who has spent years trying to escape her family's scandals and the resilience she develops along the way. Erin Bartels's characters are a treat: complex, dynamic, and so lifelike I half expected them to climb straight out of the pages."--Kathleen Barber, author of Are You Sleeping

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493419302
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 75,234
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Erin Bartels is the author of We Hope for Better Things and has been a publishing professional for 17 years. A freelance writer and editor, she is a member of Capital City Writers and the Women's Fiction Writers Association and is former features editor of WFWA's Write On! magazine. Her short story "This Elegant Ruin" was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. She grew up in the Bay City, Michigan, area and has spent much of her life waiting on drawbridges. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son. Find her online at www.erinbartels.com.
Erin Bartels is the author of We Hope for Better Things and The Words between Us. A publishing professional for seventeen years, she is a member of Capital City Writers and the Women's Fiction Writers Association. Her short story "This Elegant Ruin" was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. She grew up in the Bay City, Michigan, area and has spent much of her life waiting on drawbridges. She now lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son. Find her online at www.erinbartels.com.

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The Words between Us: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
TrixiO 8 months ago
First off, this was the kind of book that drew me in right away and kept me invested in the pages. Erin Bartels is a new-to-me author, so for her to completely immerse me in her world was amazing! Being an avid reader, the idea of this taking place in a bookstore and the passion her main character Robin has for books is something I can totally relate to. They are more than words on a page to me, they have life, and meaning and breathe that little something into my very being. It’s almost as if they grab me by the hand and make me live an adventure I would have never have had if I didn’t pick them up. Her characters felt real with the kind of problems and past baggage that we might have in our own lives. With those kind of older childhood/young adult regrets that we have to face and deal with at one point or another. Robin also faces the reality that her father is in prison for committing heinous crimes with the possibility of execution and her mother in prison for being an accessory. Sent to live with her grandma who she never knew, I can understand why she would want to run away from her problems when they threaten to overwhelm her. She finds solace and contentment in her books and running her store. The only character that I really didn’t like was Sarah, her high school classmate. It seems like she took the tragedy that happened when she was a teen and used it as an excuse to live a very destructive lifestyle. This is the part of my review I don’t like to write because I found some flaws that bothered me. Being published by Revell, I’ve never had to question what kind of book I’m reading. I know they will always be Christian fiction books containing a faith thread, which is a vital element to me as a Christian reader. I did not find it in here! That is a huge turn-off to me, especially when I am purposely looking for it. The only redeeming character in here was Dawt Pi, Robin’s employee & friend. There were a few things that pointed to the fact that she was a Christian, especially where she told Robin that she was praying for her & emphasized God loves her. But I feel like her influence on Robin was so insignificant and played such a minor role. The writer had a wonderful opportunity to develop Dawt Pi to be that Christian to shine the light of Christ in Robin’s life. So I was left feeling very let down & very disappointed in the lack of faith. Also, I felt Robin never really did deal with her past in a satisfactory manner. She ran & hid rather than face things head on. A person can’t realistically move on in life without dealing with the hard stuff of the past. Lastly, there was no real feeling of redemption, resolution, or forgiveness for me in this book. It left me with too many questions and not enough answers and I really hated the ending. I was left hanging and asking myself what I just read. So while the writing was fantastic and I can agree with other reviews on this and other points, I have to take away a higher rating due to the lack of faith and no real resolution at the end of the book. I like to have hope, and when it didn’t come about, I was left disappointed. This is my personal taste and I won’t apologize for feeling that way. In conclusion, if you are looking for a book to completely immerse you with evocative prose; this is one that will do it! Just don’t expect faith to play a major role in it. * This book was provided by Baker Publishing Group through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion. I was not
PNWBookworm 24 days ago
I loved this story. I don’t usually love stories that offer a dual timeline but this one was very well done and the flow still felt very natural. I loved the story of the books that they passed back and forth and the importance of our words. I loved that this was a book about books, and the ways in which books can help us grieve and deal. I really enjoyed the poems that Robin put inside each book as well. I also felt that the supporting characters were well done as well. Overall I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend picking it up.
FHlady 3 months ago
This coming of age novel with a split time plot was captivating as you watched both Rachel and Peter deal with the tragedies in their lives. The earlier time period covered when 14 year old Rachel moved in with her grandmother after both her parents ended up in prison under scandalous circumstances.. She meets 17 year old Peter in the graveyard where he is visiting his mother's grave They discover a love of books. Peter's mother has a huge collection of classics, and they begin exchanging books. Rachel pays for each book with a poem she has written when she returns the book. I loved the role that the books played in Peter and Rachel's relationship as well as how it helped them look at the difficult circumstances in their lives. It was almost as though the books were characters in the story. The secondary characters were as interesting and as realistic as the main characters. I particularly enjoyed the role that Professor Parrot played throughout both the earlier time period and the present. Bartel is a new-to-me author, and she pulled me into the challenges these young people faced and how it affected their decisions and their maturing. And who couldn't love a setting in a bookstore during the present day time period. Every book addict dreams of owning their own bookstore. This book focuses on how choices can affect lives in both the present and future. Rachel made some destructive choices especially when she could not forgive her parents, but she finally found that forgiveness resulted in peace. Definitely, a thought provoking read. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
Pattistep 4 months ago
Honestly, this book is not the kind of story I usually read. When I first started reading it, I wondered if I’d finish the book. But as I kept reading, I was drawn more and more into this story and became completely invested in following Robin’s story. The author made me feel Robin’s confusion and pain as a teenager over her parents’ horrendous mistakes. I also wanted her as an adult to find peace, even if happiness didn’t seem to be a possibility. The ending to this story had a twist to it that I never would have seen coming, but the timing was perfect. Even though this was not always easy to read because of Robin’s distress, it was well worth the time it took to finish the book. Even in the darkest of times and to the seemingly darkest of hearts, God still offers redemption and hope. I ended up loving this author’s writing style and I’ll be watching from more books by her. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
PreppyBookQueen 5 months ago
This is probably one of the hardest reviews I've written during all my years of book reviewing. On one hand, there were a lot of things I personally enjoyed about this book. However, on the other hand, certain components of it ended up being nothing like what I was expecting, and left me extremely disappointed. The Words Between Us ended up being not quite what I was expecting, and wasn't the guaranteed five star read I'd been prepared for when I read the synopsis. Let's start off with what I did enjoy about this particular title. I love when fiction books are set in bookstores. It's one of my favorite settings, and I thought Erin Bartels did a pretty good job of developing the second hand bookstore that Robin Windsor owns in a way that made it feel familiar and cozy to the reader. The many passages that are devoted to Robin's love of books and book characters were some of my favorite, and I enjoyed just how many passages the author managed to include throughout. I also have to talk about how beautiful the prose is throughout the entirety of the story. Erin has a way with words and her writing that reminds me of many favorite classic literature stories, and this writing style worked perfectly with the type of story she's telling throughout The Words Between Us. I'm a huge fan of timeslip novels, and I loved that this novel was told entirely with that kind of format. The reader follows the main character, Robin, throughout two different time periods of her life for the entire story, and I thought it was very well done. The story never got confusing to the reader, the story stayed interesting right throughout, and I enjoyed the way that eventually the timelines started to blend together. I also can't finish my thoughts on what I did enjoy about this book without highlighting the character of Dawt Pi. She was by far my favorite character throughout the story, and I loved how much her faith, her family, and her beliefs continue to mean to her no matter what comes her way. Dawt Pi is an immigrant from Myanmar, and I loved this inclusion in the story. For a couple of years I had a group of co-workers at my workplace that had emigrated from Myanmar, and they were the kindest and hardest working people you could have ever encountered. A lot of Dawt Pi's story reminded me of the stories that they used to share with my about their life before coming to Canada, and I applaud Erin Bartel for including this in a way that felt authentic and realistic. Now unfortunately, it's time to talk about what I didn't enjoy about this particular title. I read quite a few secular books, and there's many that I consider favorites. However, when I pick up a title from a Christian publisher, I'm not expecting to read a book that mainly reads like a secular title. One of the biggest drawbacks for me with The Words Between Us is that God, Jesus, faith and Christianity play a very minimal role. The only time faith is ever mentioned is through the character of Dawt Pi, and it doesn't play a central role to the rest of the story. I found this disheartening, and this story could have been so much more if the main character, Robin, had found Jesus in the wake of all the turmoil crashing down upon on her life. It really would have turned a good story into a great one. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher as part of the Revell Reads blogger program. This is my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
swissgranny 6 months ago
The Words Between Us is a carefully crafted story by a gifted writer. The two timelines in the story are deftly woven together, unfolding the gripping, heart-wrenching story layer by layer. Populated with lots of broken, hurting characters, this tale is emotionally charged and sometimes hard to read. Robin Windsor has gone through things no child should have to suffer, and her friend Peter has also had a tough life. Their friendship is partially built on books and the poems Robin writes for Peter. I loved the beautiful cover, and the poems added so much to the story and gave extra meaning to the title of the book. In addition, the many classic books mentioned give another layer to “the words between us”, as does the fact that Robin owns a bookstore. With a captivating plot and a message of forgiveness and resilience, this book pulled me in and kept me turning pages to see what twists the story would take. I would recommend this book to those who are booklovers and especially those who enjoy plots with dual timelines. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Revell/Baker Publishing Group through Interviews and Reviews. All opinions are my own.
Faye_reviews 6 months ago
Robin Windsor had her youth upended when her father and mother got caught up in political espionage, and she had to go and live with her grandmother, whom she had never met before. She found a refuge in literature, that helped her make it through, inspiring poetry and fueling her friendship with jock Peter Flint. 18 years later her father is scheduled for execution and she has mysteriously begun receiving books from her old high school friend, with no explanation. She's spent her whole life running from her past, is it about to be exposed? Robin has spent her life, trying to distance herself from her notorious father. She's seen a lot of things in life, but has never been able to to escape the shame of her past. She works in a struggling bookstore, and is beginning to lose hope. Her friend Dawt is a bright spot of encouragement, and well of faith and humor. Robin has a passion for books and words. Her story is told in first person, present-tense, with dual timelines jumping between her childhood and the present day. This is a meandering book, jumping in and out of the past as pieces from the past and the present day weave themselves together as Robin fights to find hope and forgiveness after long years of being alone with no one to turn to. I loved her parrot, who injects a healthy dose of humor to the read. It was hard to see a clear direction in this book, which added in many ways to the mystery and secrets of the story. A complex family drama, full of secrets. I wish there had been a little more emphasis on the faith aspects of this book. I had a hard time compiling my thoughts on this book, the ending felt like it came too soon. In the end I had very mixed feelings about this book, there were things that it did very well, yet there were other things that I felt could have been more fleshed out. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Heidi_Reads 6 months ago
Wow. This book is so well-written. I was captivated from the beginning and didn't put it down until I finished it- the blessing of having half a Saturday free! It was fascinating to see Robin's point of view as a 14 year old and present day adult, her misguided perceptions and the fallout over years from the traumatic events that changed and shaped her life. I appreciated that the alternating then and now format didn't feel like flashbacks, but rather two very connected stories told simultaneously. The details unfold and are revealed throughout the story and feel natural rather than strategic. The relationships in Robin's life are few, but each are valuable and significant. I loved discovering what came next for Robin, her indomitable spirit in the midst of her well-founded fears, and the way she comes to recognize her own growth and experience the sweetness of forgiveness. Highly recommend!!! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
JLYoung 6 months ago
After reading Ms. Bartels debut novel and being completely blown away, I had high hopes for this second novel. And it was amazing! The writing is superb, beautiful, and flows so smoothly. There's none of that going back to reread because you didn't quite get what the author is trying to say. It's not overly wordy either. Just the perfect amount of words beautifully strung together to make the story dance off the page into real life. The setting is so charming and homey. Being from the midwest, I feel like I'm at home in the book. I also love all the reference to great literary works. I loved the characters. Love how Bartels slowly draws the reader into the life of the character, with some comic relief and tugs at the heart strings. The characters deal with real life, big issues, and respond in such normal ways. The story doesn't feel rushed, or over dramatized and cheesy. Erin Bartels is quickly becoming one of my favorite new authors. I recommend her books to all my friends. I give this story 5 stars. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was in no way required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
benhli38 6 months ago
The author of We Hope for Better Things, Erin Bartels, has done it once again with her latest book The Words Between Us. I have to agree with another reviewer of Erin's work that she is indeed a "new-to-me" kind of author. While I know I reviewed her previous book We Hope for, she still seems new to me in the sense of not knowing how her writing will affect me or how I end up reviewing her work. That said, what I can truly say is she's one of those masterful storytellers for the Christian genre, but I'd say she'd rank up there with other giants such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and James Scott Bell. What grabs you from the start is the opening lines of the book talking about how the main character has a dislike for her soon to be incarcerated father (actually she's remembering the events from when she was younger). The first thing I want to say is the simple design for the book is pretty cool. Almost immediately we, as the reader, find out the main character works in or owns a book store and that would make sense. She's hiding from a rather disturbing past she'd like to forget. I can sort of relate to that. What I can truthfully say is that Erin Bartels is one of those authors that once you find and read you want to find more of her books to keep reading. In that sense, she's one gifted and talented writer of the modern age I'd keep watching for in terms of writing style and in her prose for the books she writes. It's almost like every page is gift-wrapped and handed to us so we can be as much fascinated and also horrified at the same time, but then we find God's merciful loving-kindness being shown through the pages. Revell sent me a copy of this book to review and to give a fair and honest feedback on.
Cheryl Koch 6 months ago
I was actually looking forward to reading this book. Robin's family dynamics were complicated. Yet, there was something unsatisfying that I struggled really hard to find an emotional connection with her as well as the rest of the characters in this book. This is the type of story where it is important to share an emotional connection with the characters. If for nothing else, Robin. I tried to find my footing with this book but it became apparent when I got halfway into the story and could not remember anything that I had read in the first half of the book. Sadly, I did not finish this book as it was not for me.
Virginiaw 6 months ago
This is a fantastic read. I loved how Robin needs to learn who she is after so many years. This book goes from past to present to show how Robin and Peter have learned to grow. Robins parents did something when Robin was a teen and she has to grow up quicker. I love the whole story. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
LifeofLiterature 6 months ago
Of course, as an avid reader, I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book that was, well, all about books! I really liked the characters in this story and liked how the plot was set up with scenes from their past and then the current present circumstances. The focus of books and stories highlights the importance of words and how they can affect those around us. The author has proven to be able to take a concept and delve into the complexities of life. I love her writing, which draws you in and makes reading the story effortless. I could see how the ending may cause some controversy among readers, but I personally loved it. This was a great contemporary novel and I highly recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
academy252 6 months ago
This is the story of a woman named Robin. The story is told in flashback form with “then” and “now” chapters alternating to unveil her story. As a young girl of 14 Robin’s world fell apart when her parents were sent to prison and her father landed on death row for murdering three associates. Robin was forced to go and live with her grandmother in the town her mother grew up in but she did not want anyone to know she was a Windsor. In a “chance” encounter in a cemetery just next to the trailer she was living in she met Peter Flynt. Peter was the local high school football star who had lost his mother, Emily Flynt, a year prior to this meeting. His mother was an English teacher who loved great literature. As Peter was visiting his mother’s grave he left a book of poems by Emily Dickinson there on the ground. Robin stumbled upon him while he was there. After he left she decided to take the book of poetry home. It was at that point that she decided to give herself a new last name. From that point forward she would be known as Robin Dickinson. Her friendship with Peter blossomed as they shared books between them. Peter would bring her a book to read from his mother’s collection and in return she would write a poem as payment to him. This went on for almost 6 months. Eighteen years later we see her with two friends and a parrot running a bookstore in that same area. Her father was slated to be executed for his crimes and she was trying to hide from any curious reporters or busybodies that might be on the prowl. How in the world did she wind up here? On the very day her father was to be executed a book arrives in the mail from her past. The first book Peter had given to her… Catcher in the Rye. Why now? Why this particular book? Then, one by one more books begin to arrive. This story drew me in from the first two chapters. The writing on this was so well done and the story flowed beautifully. I did not want to put it down! Erin Bartels second novel is a creative story with lots of twists and turns. It is not an overtly religious book but, like the story of Esther from the Bible, we get to see the hand of God guiding Robin through some very hard times. If only she would realize she is not alone… He is with her every step of the way in every encounter.
angelroman 6 months ago
As a book lover myself, choosing this book was easy, the title, the cover and finally the story itself was asking me to immerse myself in its world. A friendship that flourishes through book sharing may not be something new, but in The Words Between Us, Erin creates a relationship that not just revolves around books, but in people. The Words Between Us is a story for those who enjoy reading the classics, but also for those looking for something contemporary and definitely for those book lovers out there. I received this book from Revell in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
SemmieWise 6 months ago
** “Isn’t that how it so often is? the pastor says. “We ask God for something, he grants our request, and almost immediately we begin to fear. We fear the dangers around us, we fear the unknown, we fear he’ll let us drown. We don’t trust him to keep us safe. We don’t trust him to follow through. And as we sink into the raging water, there are two things we can do. … We can forget about God — ignore the fact that he’s standing right there, within reach — and instead flounder around on our own, trying to keep our heads above water as we slowly sink. Or … we can call out to him. And that’s what Peter does. He cries out, ‘Lord save me,’ and immediately Jesus reaches out to him. Immediately. He takes hold of him and says, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt? And they get into the boat … and the wind stills.” ** A love story to novels, Erin Bartels’ “The Words Between Us” is also a beautiful story of loss and forgiveness. Told between two time frames — “Now” and “Then” — “The Words Between Us” tells the story of Robin Windsor, a girl struggling with her true identity. In the “Now,” her father (a former senator) is facing execution for several murders as well as a number of other charges, and her mother is also in prison for her role in helping cover up his crimes. Robin is living under a pseudonym, trying to keep her small but struggling bookstore afloat. The “Then” picks up immediately after her parents’ imprisonment when 14-year-old Robin moves to a small town in Michigan to live with her grandmother. As she tries to hide her true identity, she meets Peter Flynt — a fellow teen trying to overcome his own trauma with the sudden death of his mother, a former English teacher. Robin’s and Peter’s relationship grows over their love of the written word — they share Peter’s mom’s books — until some unfortunate circumstances and misunderstandings occur, leading Robin to run away. Each timeframe’s storylines blend together beautifully, building Robin’s narrative of overcoming trials while searching for truth and forgiveness. Bartels does a great job of developing very real and very flawed characters. This is definitely a love story for the written word and books and the struggling bookstore. It reminds us that stories are alive and live forever and bookstores connect us to friends that won’t ever fail you. But “The Words Between Us” challenges us even more deeply. It deals with struggling that we will only disappoint God (“I wish I was so sure that God looked at me with anything but fathomless disappointment”); we must stop worrying about what others think; dealing with and overcoming loss; if not careful, we can become caught in a prison of our own making; just because something is hard doesn’t mean it isn’t worth fighting for; and we don’t need to doubt God’s ability to rescue us. While providing us a beautiful story, Bartels is also a beautifully descriptive writer, with passages like “The spine (of the book) crackles and the sweet perfume of time drifts up to my nose. The lines slip under my eyes like a mother duck and her brood slipping down the river.” This book is a pure delight! Five stars out of five. Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
amybooksy 6 months ago
The Words Between Us is a wonderful read. I loved this fun and delightful story. I enjoyed getting to know Robin. I felt connection to her right from the start. She is one of those true to life characters that I can relate to. I am giving The Words Between Us four stars. I look forward to more like this from Erin Bartels in the future. I recommend it for readers who enjoy a well written and clean read. I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
PrincessGlor 6 months ago
This was a very unusual read. This is my first read by Erin Bartels and and it put me in a mind of an author I grew up reading-Judy Blume. I enjoyed the dual time aspect of the novel and thought it was very well written. The cover is definitely eye-catching and will make my list of favorite 2019 covers. The story moved well and kept me intrigued and invested. I loved the book store and the bookish aspects. It’s a little heavier then I was anticipating and I do wish that certain aspects had been more tied up. An Epilogue would have been nice. All in all, an interesting read and I liked it enough, that I will read more from this author. I received this book from RevellReads and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
Anonymous 7 months ago
The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels She thought she'd hidden from the past and her connections to her and their shame. But the truth has a way of coming out and for Robin Windsor, it keeps happening. When she was 14 years old her life was forever changed and she lost her parents to their crimes and she reinvented herself in Michigan as Robin Dickenson. There she meets Peter Flynt and forms an unusual friendship that revolves around his late mother's books. But their friendship is destroyed when Robin experiences another unexpected loss and words are exchanged. Years have passed and Robin has a life that she's content with (mostly) but when her father's scheduled execution draws close she receives an unexpected package. And this is but the first as the books that Robin and Peter shared that one year found there way back to Robin. Wondering what this means Robin has no way to question Peter as each book comes to her from a different location. The Words Between Us take us from the present to key moments in Robin's life that shaped her into who she is today. This is a journey through one person's life and how words - spoken, printed, unspoken, and written have a profound and lasting effect on one's life. Are words reversible? Can the pain they cause be removed as easily as they were applied? Words can crush or they can build-up. They can be a window to the soul or the cloak that hides it from the world. It is interesting to see how over the years Robin presents herself to others, all the while hiding and running from who she was. I just love the title of this book - the words between us - it offers just a hint of what is to come. Are the words divisive? healing? loving? Or just waiting on someone to take them in? I love the possibilities that it offers of hope in the face of loss. This is one book that one can easily get lost in as the story is both engaging and reflective as it offers a glimpse into what was, what is, and what could be. This is the first work of Erin Bartels that I have experienced and experienced is the perfect word for this as reading doesn't do this one justice. This book is a standalone title so it is a perfect intro to Erin's work. The story doesn't lag and has a steadily progressive motion even when we are taken into the past. The characters aren't perfect but they have that certain something that makes you want to know them better. Would be an excellent book club selection if you are wondering what should be your next suggestion. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.
BrittanyMc 7 months ago
The Words Between Us was a very interesting story, and one that is different than the books that I usually gravitate to. The cover drew me in and the book blurb made me want to give this novel a try. I liked the way the book spent time in both the present and the past. And although I liked this approach and the way events slowly played out as I read, sometimes it dragged a bit for me. I still enjoyed uncovering what exactly had happened in Robin’s life. The Words Between Us referenced classic literature, most of which I read in high school, and tied it into the story in a seamless way. In fact, this novel left me with a similar feeling as many of the stories that were referred to did when I read them. The ending felt satisfying to me, however it was abrupt, and I honestly would have enjoyed a few more chapters to wrap things up a bit more. But, overall, this was a story that moved me. Although published as a Christian fiction story, the faith element was very subtle. This book will probably be well received in the general market. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Librarycataloger 7 months ago
This is such a special story and perhaps the title tells it all....the words between us can't express just how much I enjoyed it. Erin Bartels has been able to capture the feelings of Robin Windsor as both the young girl hiding from the shame of a father convicted of a horrible crime and as the young woman who has tried to create an adult life based on anonymity. Robin was just a young teen when her father's crime was discovered and she was sent to live with her grandmother, but she had to pretend that they were distantly related. Her fear of being discovered left Robin avoiding people and she found solace in her love of books and the power of words. She did experience friendship with Peter, a neighbor boy, and eventually confided in him but their friendship was shattered when she believed that he had told her secret. Now, the adult Robin continues to find comfort in books and her bookstore until she discovers that there was more to her father's crime. Seeking to unravel the mystery surrounding it and to discover who is sending her books through the mail, Robin is forced to rethink her past and her present. The Words Between Us is told alternately as "Then' and 'Now' and it is evident that Robin carries so much of her 'Then' into 'Now'; children often carry the stigma associated with the actions of their parents. Some readers may think this is a sad story but I found it to be uplifting because in the end, it is a testament to the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit. I received a copy of this book from the publisher but I am voluntarily sharing this review. These are my own thoughts
LoraineN 7 months ago
Words matter. The spoken and the written. They can breathe life and cut us to our core. I loved how this story brought to life our reliance on words. I admit that I completely judged this book by its cover. How could a book so beautifully portraying a bibliophile’s shelf steer me wrong? I was not prepared for the lovely, yet haunting, way that Robin’s story unfolded. From the first line, which pulled me into the tragedy of her life to the very end where the lost is redeemed, I turned the pages as if the story would disappear if I placed my bookmark in it. Full review is at my website. I received this book complimentary as a participant in the Revell blog tour. I was not required to give a positive review. All of the opinions I have expressed here are my own.
ganderson523 7 months ago
Book lovers will enjoy this story as the main character is one who gets through life by immersing herself in books. Robin Dickinson owns a bookstore in River City, Michigan, where she sells her beloved books and lives above the shop. Told in present day with flashbacks to eighteen years prior, we get a glimpse into Robin's life when as a fourteen year old, her posh life in Amherst, Massachusetts, was been turned upside down by the arrest of her parents. Her father, Norman Windsor, a US Senator, was arrested on various charges, including murder of three people and her mother for trying to cover up the crimes. Robin was sent to live in Sussex, Michigan, with a grandmother, that she doesn't know, along with The Professor, her grandmother's African Grey parrot, and now goes by Robin Dickinson instead of Windsor to avoid being recognized. Peter Flynt and Robin meet at his mom's grave at a cemetery near where Robin and her grandmother live and become friends. After hearing of Robin's love of books, Peter begins leaving his mom's Classic novels in Robin's school locker one at a time. Her payment to him is to write a poem about the book for him. Books are a lifeblood for Robin, living, breathing friends who leave a mark on society. The Words Between Us is deep, multilayered and centers around Robin having to deal with so many emotions and problems caused by her parents' lifestyle and choices, choices that Robin had no control over. The story touches on trust issues caused by betrayal, pain and loss-a lot for an adult but especially tough for a young teenage woman with life thrust on her before she is ready. She finds it hard to open up to others but as she progresses through life, she finally has to deal with issues to go forward. There is mystery with a touch of romance and faith. There are some issues that I would have liked to see resolved so I am wondering if there is a sequel in the future. I received a complimentary ARC from Revell Publishing through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.
FayJac 7 months ago
The book-loving bookstore owner in this book has a secret past she is trying to keep hidden. When books start showing up from her past, she knows things are about to change. This book goes back and forth between her past and her present, slowly revealing things about her. Although she keeps running from her past, it has a way of catching up to her. It is an interesting book and deals with perseverance and forgiveness. However, I thought the ending was rather abrupt. This book was interesting to read, especially since I love to read as well and would love to own a bookshop. My problem is similar to hers—book shops don't do well these days and she struggled to keep her bookshop going. This is probably not the best book I have read, but it was interesting and kept me wondering what would happen next. Again, I thought it ended rather abruptly. I was surprised when I came to the last page. Maybe that was because I was reading it as an ebook. I would still recommend this as a good book to read. (Please Note: Although an e-copy of this book was sent to me to review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, the opinions expressed are my own.)
mamatr 7 months ago
Robin Windsor has tried to escape her past by secluding herself first in the wilderness and then in her bookstore. But the past catches up with her. Will she allow it to open her world or prompt her to close up even tighter? I liked the book theme of "The Words Between Us." The story is also clean, which I appreciate, and the mystery about what happened to her friend Peter's mom is interesting. The story didn't "wow" me, though. I never really connected with the plot or the characters except for maybe Dawt Pi, Robin's immigrant employee. The faith element is also very subtle. "The Words Between Us" is a good book but just not great in my opinion. However, it would be a good book for readers who appreciate literature and a clean, beach read.