Golden’s novel covers the emotional Tilt-A-Whirl of romance, heartbreak, dreams deferred and dreams realized
The epigraph forecasts the narrative’s themes of hope, turmoil and fate: “Time binds us to a finite world, pushes us, drags us, finishes us off, and forces unfinished conversations.” In the opening scene, Golden introduces Brad and Emily and showcases their tense marriage, filled with small, toxic moments. Golden’s initial description of Emily as “Brad’s wife,” indicates how Brad views Emily’s identity as a mere extension of his own. As Emily struggles through conflict with Brad, she fights to raise their young son, Kevin, and works to forget her unrealized dream of having a medical career. When Wyatt enters her life, he proves a welcome contrast to Brad and adds significant drama. As a doctor, he also reminds Emily of her forgotten dreams. Wyatt brings Emily hope, but readers will guess that her problems won’t dissolve easily. Golden’s novel may strongly resonate with women who have lost their identity in ill-chosen relationships and family obligations—and who have fought to find and redefine themselves. The prose is clean and the dialogue clear and fairly realistic. The convincing plot makes an emotionally difficult plotline all the more painful to read. Occasionally, the narrative veers toward cliché, but the fast pace renders cloying moments ignorable. The characterization is adequate, but relating to characters will be challenging for readers who don’t have much in common with them.
Golden’s novel will resonate with women who’ve found themselves by overcoming obstacles.