Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Leaving November Review & Free Book

I don’t often read straight romance, especially when it’s laced with women’s fiction. However, Deb Raney’s Remember to Forget was a book I couldn’t put down. It was rich in every way: characters, plot, heart. So when I heard Leaving November was finally releasing, I had to read it.

After years away, Vienne (pronounced like Vienna without the A) Kenney finds herself back in Clayburn, Kansas, all of her dreams of escape in ashes at her feet. Jack Linder is returning to town after nine-months in rehab. Both wonder if the townspeople will embrace them as they try to leave the past behind and move into the future.

Vienne’s dream of being a lawyer and making her mark on the world absent the shadow of her alcoholic father are dashed at the same time it becomes clear that she can’t leave Clayburn after her mother has a stroke. She turns her turmoil into a remodel of the café her mother has run for years. Ready or not, Clayburn is getting a coffee bar. In the process of remodeling, she runs into her high school crush Jack Linder. Sparks begin to fly, until she’s faced with his recovering alcoholism.

This book is a gritty portrayal of recovery. Both for the alcoholic and those impacted by the alcoholism. Deb writes the story with a heart that kept me firmly on both sides of the fence. It was so easy to get in the shoes of each character and understand why they made the choices they did.

At the same time, the book was about so much more. Small town America life. The prejudices we apply to certain segments in our communities. How the past can haunt us decades later. All these themes and more are woven together seamlessly in a way that made me think as I read.

Nothing is easy for Vienne and Jack. But then things rarely are in real life. And I wanted to argue with some of the decisions they made – especially Vienne. But each of those decisions I wanted to argue I could see myself making if in the same position.

This book was a satisfying book that made me think as I read. I can’t wait for the next installment from Clayburn. Please tell me there is another one!

If you'd like to be entered to win a copy of this book, please leave a comment here. I'll draw the winner next week.


Amy said...

This looks like a good book, I'd love to be entered!

Carole said...

I would enjoy reading this book by Deborah Raney, as her others are very good. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Pam Meyers said...

Don't put me down for the drawing, Cara. I have the book and already gave one away on my blog! I just want to say this books is everything Cara said. Deb has such a way of taking the reader deep into her characters. You feel Jack's struggle with his recovery from alcoholism. You feel Vienne's struggle with overcoming her fears formed by the past. You feel the attraction these two have for one another and want to cheer them on in their struggles to overcome. It's a great read :-)

Sabrina L. Fox said...

OHHH. Enter me. :) I love Deb's books and somehow missed this release.

Janna said...

I haven't read anything by Deb Raney yet, though I keep hearing rave reviews of her books - please enter me!


windycindy said...

Hello, I have loved the cover of this book since I saw it! I would enjoy reading about the two main characters and the decisions they make in their lives. Deborah Raney is a delightful author! Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks very much.....Cindi

bigguysmama said...

I have heard so much about this book that I'd love the chance to win it. Thanks for the review.

In Him,


stampedwithgrace said...

I've heard so many good things about this book! please enter me :)

Donna Moore said...

I loved the first book in this series. Please enter me in the drawing.

ChristyJan said...

This looks and sounds like such a wonderful book.
Please enter me to win a copy.

flchen1 said...

This sounds like an excellent read! I'd love to be included in the drawing. Thank you very much!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

annie said...

What a unique giveaway. Thanks for this opportunity to read a Deborah Raney book.


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