Happy Monday! We are heading into the final week of the Christmas rush. I know I have lots of last minute things to do: wrapping, cleaning, baking etc. This will be my last full week of blogging for 2012. After next Monday, my blog will be on break until 2013. So I made sure to feature some great reads this week. Today, I have a riveting read to share with you called: Thought I Knew You by Kate Moretti. This is Kate's debut novel, and I can honestly say I was thoroughly impressed. Once I picked this one up, I couldn't put it down, I read the entire thing in one day. Ms. Moretti presents a fascinating tale about a woman who thought she had a good, solid marriage until her husband goes missing without a trace. Then she is forced to accept that maybe her marriage wasn't as wonderful as she thought and perhaps her husband wasn't the person she knew. In all honesty, can we truly say we really know someone inside and out? Ms. Moretti gives you plenty to ponder with her interesting book. I invited Kate here to share with you all her thoughts on marriage. A thought provoking topic indeed.
Here is Kate's bio:
Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.
She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.
Here is Kate on marriage:
I’ve always been fascinated by marriage. What makes a good marriage? What makes a bad one? Do “good” marriages have horrible times – where the husband and the wife just dislike each other? What makes them stick it out? Do “bad” marriages have moments of sunshine, laughter, shared private jokes? There are so many shades of gray there. What goes on behind the closed doors?
I grew up the product of a completely unrealistic childhood. My mother called my father her “boyfriend” and ran to the back door with excitement when his car would pull in the driveway at four o’clock. My sister and I learned to avoid the kitchen for those first ten minutes, lest we be subjected to a canoodle fest that would make the paparazzi blush. Barf. One time (and only once!) I remember hearing them fight, in their room, with the door closed. A actual fight! With raised voices! We huddled in the hallway terrified – they would surely get divorced now. We had no frame of reference. Suddenly, there was a loud crash and a beat of silence, followed by a burst of laughter. Later, when I snuck into their room, I saw a cock-eyed duel closet door off its track. From behind me, my father said, “Well, your mother feels better now.” I think (although I’m not certain) it’s still like that.
Much later, when I got married myself, my expections were impossibly high. I wanted the fairy tale, the perfect marriage. I had no concept of the work that went on in my parents’ relationship. I wanted instant happily ever after, ala Disney-style. Those were some interesting first few years – I learned a hard lesson. Real love is hard work! A good marriage doesn’t just happen. I’ve been navigating the marital waters for nine years now, and sometimes I look at my husband and think, “Did you really just say that? Who are you?” and other times, for the exact opposite reason, he’ll surprise the heck out of me – do something so sweet and thoughtful — and I’ll think “Gah, who are you?”
This was my inspiration for Thought I Knew You – do you ever know another person, really? I attempted to take a look at a “good” marriage going through a rough time and what would happen if it just suddenly ended. Would the remaining partner remember just the good or just the bad? I didn’t know. Like a real marriage, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Claire Barnes grapples with the truth, trying to figure out if she ever really knew her husband at all after he goes on a business trip and doesn’t return. She examines the gray area of her relationship, looking for clues. Did he run away? Did he die? Throughout the course of the book, Claire reflects on the ups and downs as she struggles to acknowledge that not only wasn’t her marriage perfect, but she was at least partially responsible for their problems.
The other day, I was talking to my mom on the phone.
She sighed, sounding exasperated.
I asked, “What’s wrong, Ma?”
“Oh, your father. He makes me nuts! Sometimes, he says something, and I just think ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I married you!’”
I laughed to myself. A perfect marriage? Ain’t no such thang.
I couldn't agree more, Kate. Marriage is difficult and at times trying but in the end well worth the journey. I enjoyed Kate's book so much that I decided I wanted to share it with you all so I am going to host a giveaway for an ebook copy of Thought I Knew You by Kate Moretti. I decided to do an ebook so all of you who get new ereaders from Santa will have something to read. This was truly one of those books that will stick with me. Don't miss it! To enter fill out the Rafflecopter after reading the Contest Policies. This is open to everyone as long as you can accept an ebook via Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Thought I Knew You by Kate Moretti
Claire Barnes is shattered when her husband, Greg, goes on a business trip and never returns.
Unwilling to just wait for the police to find him, Claire conducts her own investigation. Her best friend Drew helps her look for answers, but all she finds are troubling questions.
With every clue, she discovers that Greg may not be the man she thought she married.
While battling her growing feelings for Drew and raising her two young children, Claire must learn to live with the knowledge that the truth behind Greg’s disappearance may never be revealed.
Kindle Edition, 276 pages
Published September 15th 2012 by Red Adept Publishing
Four and a half stars: A riveting read that brings up a fascinating question: Can you ever truly know someone?
Claire Barnes thought she had a good marriage. She and Greg were together for ten years and they have two adorable little girls. But something hasn't been quite right over the last year. Greg is distant and quiet and they don't talk as much. Still every marriage has its ups and downs, it is just a rough patch. When Greg doesn't come home from a business trip, Claire's world comes crashing down. Claire is forced to examine her marriage. As she searches for her missing husband, she uncovers some puzzling facts, leading her to question whether she truly ever knew her husband. Will Claire find Greg and save her marriage?
What I Liked:
- I love it when I pick up a book and get an unexpected riveting and fascinating read. Thought I Knew You by Kate Moretti was one of those books that caught me by surprise. I was absolutely glued to the pages and couldn't put it down. I ended up reading the entire book in one day! This book is thought provoking and compelling and it raises some questions that I will be pondering for days to come. If you enjoy a book with lots of mystery, suspense and ideas that will make you think, don't miss this one.
- I thoroughly enjoyed following Claire as she falls down the dark rabbit hole of despair and depression once she discovers her husband is missing without a trace. Over two years time, she slowly claws her way out and puts the pieces of her life back together. Without Greg, she is forced to maintain a stable household for her two daughters. It is a horrifying situation to deal with the sudden absence of a loved one. In some ways it is worse than a death because there is no closure. Claire struggles with the startling questions left behind. Did Greg really just walk out on Claire and his daughters with no explanation? Was there something so wrong with their marriage that he felt he had to leave? Why would he abandon them? Was there someone else? Where did he go? Day in day out, her mind tumbles over these questions and the possibilities. This book with its captivating story line will keep you glued to the pages as you race to find out what happened to Greg and how Claire manages to get back on her feet.
- I loved that this book had some surprising twists and you are left guessing up until the final chapters as to what really happened to Greg. There is plenty of suspense and a good solid mystery throughout.
- I admired Claire and her strength and courage as she pulls herself together, deals with the stages of grief and finds a way to be a stable parent for her two girls. It is a tough battle, but she is determined and she has support from her parents and friends. I liked that she chose to keep it together and do as much as she could on her own, from mowing and taking care of her yard, to cleaning out the gutters and everything else.
- I liked that Ms. Moretti also included how the sudden disappearance of Greg affects his four and two year old daughters. The girls are devastated and suffer long term affects. They are always wondering if their mother will abandon them, and why their daddy didn't love them enough to stay. It is a heartbreaking and frightening situation for the girls and their mother. Ms. Moretti shows us how crippling a loss like this can be for a family.
- I liked that this book kept me engaged and entertained throughout. It is frightening and sad at times, but there are many scenes of hope and courage as Claire puts both feet back on the ground and finds her way again. Perhaps she even has a chance at a new love. This is a book that you don't want to miss.
And The Not So Much:
- This book does have a love triangle, but it didn't bother me as much as the triangles in the YA genre. First, because at the beginning of the story Claire is in what she perceives to be a stable marriage, and through the years she has maintained a strong friendship with her best friend, Drew. She and Drew were never a romantic item, but he has been in love with her for years. Even Greg is aware that Drew loves his wife, but again no one ever acted upon their feelings. Once Greg disappears, Drew steps in and becomes Claire's support system. So in the end, this book presents a believable love triangle that I actually enjoyed.
- One aspect that I felt was too glossed over was how Claire tackled the financial situation. There are brief mentions in the beginning of how she is writing checks on a wing and a prayer and how she is concerned over money, but then the topic is dropped and not an issue. I am guessing it is because she dipped into the inheritance fund, but it is never conveyed how she manages to survive financially. I know that this would be a huge issue if the main bread winner suddenly vanished.
- I wished that there was just a bit more information on Greg's secret life. I was so intrigued by the idea that you can't ever truly know someone and I wanted to know all of his secrets. Unfortunately, most of them remain hidden.
Thought I Knew You was a surprise read that thoroughly entertained me from beginning to end. It covers a woman's hard struggle to put her life back together when her husband vanishes without a trace. Her journey is tough, full of tears and hardship, but Claire is resilient and able to pick up the pieces only to have another huge wrench thrown in her path. If you enjoy a suspenseful mystery with engaging characters and a fascinating story line definitely don't hesitate to pick this one up. I know it is a book that will stick with me for days and days to come. With this strong debut, Ms. Moretti will surely be an author I will read again.
"How were we going to work as a family until he came home? We were fractured, a puzzle missing a piece until he came home. He needed to be home. He needed to come home and fix it. Fix Us."
"He turned the bracelet so I could see the engraving. All the strength you need is inside of you."
"Our relationship has always been an iceberg. The part the world sees is small and insignificant, where the largest, most complicated parts lie beneath the surface."
"Memories were tricky that way. Time tinted perception, which altered the memory, bending it like a light through a prism, until what a person remembered might only contain slivers of fact. The rest was just a colorful reflection of emotion---hope, denial, anger and fear."
"I didn't say the whole truth-- like making a life with the wrong person was like pushing a boulder up a hill. While making a life with the right person was like having a wheelbarrow instead of a boulder, taking turns pushing each other on the inclines."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.