Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review ~"Mile 21" by Sarah Dunster

Mile 21Mile 21 by Sarah Dunster
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: LDS fiction

Book Description: “You have to be here. I can’t be on the premises without an owner or tenant present. Wouldn’t want to be accused of walking off with anything.” He looks around the kitchen. “Not that there’s anything here to tempt me.”
“You’re a jerk.”
Bob glances down at the photo again. “Will your husband be back soon?”
“He died a year ago. So, no.”
I gain immense satisfaction in seeing his cheeks darken a bit.
Abish Miller is a mess. But you might be too if you were a twenty-one-year-old widow with a dysfunctional family, an overpowering boss, and a torturous return to the singles’ scene. Training for the marathon she and her husband never got to run is about the only time she can forget about her problems.
But life won’t leave her alone. It throws Bob Hartley, a recently divorced young father, into her living room and then her ward. And when her irritation turns into attraction, she’s sure that it must be some sort of cosmic joke, especially when it seems he loathes her! Feeling like she just keeps hitting the wall, Abish must learn to push past her fears or she’ll never achieve her personal best.
Defined by sharp wit and an authentic voice, Mile 21 shows the despair of giving up on hope—and the joy of choosing it again.

My thoughts: Abish is put into an impossible situation. She is grieving a year after the death of her husband, Everyone around her tells her to get on with her life and that she needs therapy. She just wants to have her husband back in her life and to be a mother to their child. She wants her happily ever after, but it ended suddenly when he unexpectedly passed away.

In the middle of all of this she is in danger of loosing her job, she looses her apartment, and she fears she may be loosing her sanity. She keeps going by running. Running is a major part of the book. Her husband was training for a marathon before his death, she has picked up her life by following his steps, training for a marathon. It is therapeutic for her. Every time she is faced with an upsetting situation, she runs. The problem is that she seems to be running from life.

This book has many heart wrenching moments. I couldn't imagine being in her shoes and facing life on my own. I couldn't imagine the ribbing that she gets from singles who don't understand the emotions that she feels.

She doesn't handle being around people well, so she has in many ways isolated herself from everyone. She has may concrete walls that she needs to figure out how to break through and start enjoying life again.

This book is well written. It is packed with emotion. I couldn't help but like Abish, even though she didn't want to be likable. Her story made me think about life and what it is all about.

This book is written for an LDS readership. There are many insights into the LDS religion and culture that may be hard for someone of a different faith to grasp.  The book is about a young woman who is a race against her self, trying to get her life back on track.  The main theme of the book is universal, and one that anyone can enjoy.

About Sarah Dunster: Sarah Dunster is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. Her poems have appeared in Dialogue: Journal of Mormon ThoughtSunstone Magazine, andSegullah Magazine. She is a contributor to LDS arts blog A Motley Vision. Her first novel, “Lightning Tree,” was released in April of 2012. Her fiction has been described as fresh, character-driven, and outside the box of LDS literature. Sarah Dunster enjoys writing almost as much as she enjoys spending time with her seven children, age eleven and younger.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Lisa! I am glad to read your review. One thing I worried about was whether my main character ended up being likable. I'm glad she comes across that way.


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