My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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BOOK SYNOPSISSeattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.
Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life.
My ThoughtsMy mind is still racing after finishing this excellent, emotionally rich, riveting read! There is much to be said for time travel as a vehicle to allow characters to experience their lives a second time, especially when the character who does so is a very engaging female whose personality shines through so brightly and realistically that you cannot help but find yourself able to see through her eyes as you read the story.
Michelle Preston Richardson did not just leave the year 2010 and end up in 1979, she left a way of life that was so overwhelming that it had swallowed all her childhood dreams and aspirations. Being thrown back into the past the way Michelle was would have probably broken someone who was weaker,for a while it did. Michelle picked herself up however from the depths of despair and took the opportunity presented to her through the kindness of strangers and with courage, determination and hard work she carved out a life that not only made her happier than she had been in years but also allowed her to finally connect with people in ways that made a difference to them even if at the time it was not apparent.
I have always known that words have power, the power to change, the power to heal and the power to bring peace to those in turmoil. This story showcases that power admirably, it puts the reader in Michelle's shoes and allows us to search for the answer as to how much should be shared and how much should be kept secret right along with Michelle as she becomes more and more involved with the inhabitants in the community of Unionville Oregon.
The story also raises questions in my mind about how I myself would handle traveling back in time where a younger version lived, where friends and family members existed who were long dead that I could once again interact with and most of all raises the question of how I would present myself to these people. The author answered these questions handily with Michelle in a way that would allow her to most benefit from her new life and also would allow her to be a person that others were able to easily connect with as she managed to gently extricate from them what other's never bothered to be aware of. Michelle touched so many lives in one way or another and in the end of this story we are allowed to know the impact this one special woman made in a very short time.
The Journey is a story that has such depth, such wonderfully realistic characters and so much that will capture your deepest emotions that it is a read you will not want to put down and will be very sorry to see end! This is the best kind of contemporary read, it will make you think, it will make you cry, it will make you laugh and most of all it will make you take a good long look at your own hopes and dreams and maybe realize that sometimes things work out differently than we want them to for a very good reason.
[Kindle copy from author in exchange for honest review]