Saturday, September 21, 2019

Book Review - The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels


Robin Windsor has spent much of her life under an assumed name to avoid association with her infamous parents. She thought she'd finally found sanctuary running her used bookstore in quiet River City, Michigan. But when she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the morning of her father's scheduled execution, Robin is thrown back to the summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. Why would Peter be making contact now? And why does she have a sinking feeling that she's about to be exposed all over again?

With evocative prose that recalls the classic novels we love, Erin Bartels pens a story that shows that words--the ones we say, the ones we read, and the ones we write--have more power than we imagine.


Erin Bartels is the author of We Hope for Better Things and The Words between Us. A publishing professional for seventeen years, she is a member of Capital City Writers and the Women's Fiction Writers Association. Her short story "This Elegant Ruin" was a finalist in The Saturday Evening Post 2014 Great American Fiction Contest. She grew up in the Bay City, Michigan, area and has spent much of her life waiting on drawbridges. She now lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son. Find her online at


This novel is unlike anything I have read before and I was totally enthralled with the story and the characters. I enjoyed the use of books within this book to bring the characters together. Especially when it was a book that I love!

Robin is a girl with a lot of baggage in her life because of her parents. She carries around her hurt like a sweater that she never puts down. She has lived a life under an assumed name so that her parents sins would not continue to taint her life. However, because she carried around her wounds, she ended up being a person who never moves forward or gets beyond certain angers. This was the aspect of the book that I didn't like because I wanted to see her get beyond her parents and, she thought she was, but she wasn't!

Peter is another wounded person and their love of books brings Robin and he together in a really delightful way. He is a bit more evolved than Robin, though, so he ended up being my favorite character. I loved that he cared so much.

The story takes us between past and present, which I didn't have a problem with, and I do think was very central to the story. I also loved all the books and the book store that Robin is trying to save. It gave another element to the story of not only caring about the people, but the book store that was in jeopardy.

All in all, I think this book was beautifully written. The only thing I found annoying at times was the character of Robin. I enjoyed this book a lot and give it 4 stars.

*This book was provided to me by Revell.  I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

Blessings - Julie

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