Thursday 14 February 2013

Book ~ "The Eighth Wonder" (2012) Kimberly Young

From Goodreads ~ Nicole Benson is a self-made woman. She put herself through school, sacrificing marriage and children for her career. In the summer of 1997, at the age of 35, she finally graduated with a Ph.D. from NYU, but her life is thrust into chaos when her father, the only person she's ever leaned on emotionally, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. After fifteen years in New York City, Nicole leaves everything and everyone she knows to teach for a year in Bradford, Pennsylvania, to be close to her father in nearby Buffalo. Now, trapped in tiny Bradford, she has never felt more alone in her life ... until she meets Tom Ryan. 

At 44, Tom represents what Nicole longs to be: settled, secure, and clear about his purpose and direction in life. Emotionally scarred, he and his wife of 23 years survived the death of their daughter to leukemia. 

Tom and Nicole's story begins as a journey of self-discovery for both of them but turns to bittersweet tragedy when their friendship becomes love. Nicole risks offering what she has never given before, her heart; and Tom has never felt happier or more conflicted when he falls in love for the second time in his life. Their lives become intertwined and changed forever when they both must face the most difficult decision of their lives.

Nicole is originally from Buffalo but spent many years in New York (she loves it there!).  She worked in finance on Wall Street but went back to school to follow her dream of becoming a professor.  She's had various relationships over the years but has commitment issues, stemming from her mother leaving the family when Nicole was young.  When her dad is diagnosed with cancer, she accepts a job with a university in a small town about an hour from her dad so she can spent time with him.

Tom lives in the small town Nicole moves to and runs a seniors residence.  He has been married to Rose for over twenty years.  Things were fine until their young daughter, Lisa, died of cancer six years ago.  After that, they grew apart emotionally and never dealt with their grief.

When Tom and Nicole meet, they are instantly attracted.  Things quickly progress to the point where they are having an affair and are in love.  But things get complicated when Nicole gets offered a job in North Carolina and Tom doesn't want to hurt his wife by leaving her.

I thought this was an interesting premise for a book and was curious to see how the author would handle it. There were a couple options on how to end the book.  The author could have kept them together now that they'd found each other at the right time in their lives and they lived happily ever after.  Or she could break them up and have them carry on with their lives but never forgetting each other.  Or perhaps Rose finds out and kills them!  You're going to have to read this book to find out how it ended!

For the most part, I enjoyed this book and the writing style.  While the author gave details of their intimate activity, for some reason I wasn't feeling the spark between them.  But it was obvious they enjoyed spending time together and had grown close.

I had a problem with Tom chewing tobacco and Nicole smoking.  Tom has lost a daughter to cancer and Nicole is losing her dad to cancer so they should know better (can you tell I'm not a smoker?).  Also, Tom is a hunter and shoots/eats deer ... maybe it's a way of life in Bradford.  Yes, I eat meat but I'm anti-hunting (I know that doesn't makes sense!).

If you are looking for a romance with a different kind of twist, you should check it out.

1 comment:

Teddy Rose said...

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm glad you enjoyed The Eighth Wonder