Buried memories always seem to float to the surface struggling to be acknowledged.
Noelle has come to a crossroad in her life. She is quite unsure of the pending outcome of her decisions.
Eli in his frozen icehouse haven that at times brought loneliness and thoughts of his present struggles, he quietly wonders what the future holds.
When an accident leaves Noelle without recall of the past 25 years of her marriage and life with Eli, her family struggles to cope as Noelle attempts to regain the life that was taken from her. Despite overwhelming odds is it possible to recapture what was once valid or will the past be buried forever in the snowy backdrop of Deep Haven?
Envy, heartbreak, pain and romance blend well to create this touching novel. Character development was strong, dialogue was easy to keep up with, and here at the start of summer I could just feel the snow and ice crunching under my boots and it was refreshing! I have read novels similar to this one in storyline before but was surprised at how it held my attention throughout as I connected with the characters and heard their conversations and felt what they did. I found the overall message to be inspiring and the novel challenged my faith. I would recommend this entertaining novel to others.
Noelle witnesses a crime, has an accident and ends up with amnesia. She doesn't remember the last 25 years of her life- her failing marriage, her kids, the tragedy in their family. Both husband and wife are surprised at things they learn about each other. They are given a chance to find their love again. A subplot revolves around Noelle's son, Kyle, and a friend's daughter, Emma. For a small town, a lot seems to be going on in Deep Haven.
Though this is the fifth book in the Deep Haven series, it can be read as a standalone novel. The storyline was good and wrapped up nicely. I did feel that the family had everything going against them but for the most part, they overcame their struggles in the end.
I love coming back to Deep Haven, and I don't even like snow! :)
Noelle & Eli Hueston have been married for many years, but the last few have been, well, worse than routine. Struggling already, things were compounded by the death of their only daughter, and at the point we meet them, they have genuinely lost their way. The book begins with Noelle attempting to evade a robbery when she slips and falls on a patch of ice and suffers a head injury, which in turn causes some pretty serious amnesia. She doesn't remember being married or her children, she definitely doesn't remember her daughter Kelsey, and she thinks she is in college -she is very upset that her (deceased) parents won't come visit her in the hospital! You can imagine the confusion this causes, as the amnesia lasts for some time.
There are also several great "sub"-story, one that includes her oldest son & Kelsey's best friend, and I really enjoyed how they were all tied together in the end. This book deals with a number of serious issues and still manages to retain a sense of humor and emotional pull, all without being overdone. Well played, Susan May Warren!
Noelle is ready to give up on her marriage after tragedy has struck her family and their small town. But an accident that leaves her with more than just a little amnesia, causes Noelle to see her life through new eyes. Will she like what she sees or will she want to run away from what she has found. Will her husband and her family be able to find true forgiveness and love? Will others affected by the same tragedy find their own forgiveness and love? Will they be able to move on with their lives and find a new normal in the aftermath?
The story of The Shadow of Your Smile is one of tragedy and hope, despair and forgiveness. Warren successfully weaved a brilliant story that took a look at all the what-if's of loosing a child, a spouse, forgetting one's life, and true love. This is definitely one of my favorite books. I will note that this is book 5 in the series about Deep Haven. While this was the first book in the series that I read, and the first of Warren's books, it does well as a stand alone book. I will mention that it took me about 1/3 of the book to get all the characters straight, but since the other books in the series are about various people in the town, that may or may not help in reading this book.
Imagine you wake up to find yourself in a hospital room with the memories of 25 years of your life just missing, gone, kaput. In your mind you are a college student at the beginning of your life ready to pursue your dreams and make a difference. You prefer diet Coke to coffee and want your parents to come to the hospital to see you, not this 50 year old stranger who keeps holding your hand telling you he is your husband. And let's just say that the shock of seeing your reflection in the mirror is a bit jarring. This is the predicament of Noelle Hueston, the main character in The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren. Only Noelle isn't a college student, she is a married woman with children and a husband and some tough memories that she cannot recall.
The struggling marriage of Noelle and her husband Eli is simply forgotten by Noelle after suffering an accident where her head is hit incredibly hard causing her to lose all memories from the last 25 years. So while she is struggling to remember her past and the people closest to her, she also discovers that things have not turned out for her as she thought they would. She was an aspiring artist that all but gave up her dreams for others and she feels a bit disappointed to see what her 40-something self did with her life in comparison to what her 20-something self thought she would be doing. What a fascinating perspective for her to see. She's not too happy with her waist size either. (But then again, who is?) Her husband Eli seeks to have a brand new start with this new wife who doesn't remember all the heartache of their past and wants to build forward from there. They both learn though that it's impossible to divorce our past from our present, it's what grows us and something we need to make peace with in order to move forward. It cannot be ignored. There are some other family dynamic stuff that comes into play with the sons that shows some pretty realistic moments, I believe- people placing blame, the importance of honesty and forgiveness. Very well done here.
I thought the pacing of the novel was good, enjoyed the character development and storyline. I actually thought the ending was good, realistic, although I might say that part felt a little rushed. Overall, I enjoyed what this novel explored, the whole idea of are you happy where you are, is it what you imagined and if not, what can you do to change it? I think we all have that question in our mind to a certain extent. Is my life really what I pictured it would be? My answer is no, it's not, but I think this alternate route, personally, is better than what I had planned.
I was graciously provided a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.