Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Looking Through Windows by Caren J. Werlinger

Publisher:       Windstorm Creative (paper); L-Book (e-Book)

Emily Warner moves to Vermont to try and recover from the traumatic events surrounding the death of her partner.  Her partner always insisted that they keep their relationship quiet and unofficial, so there were no legal documents connecting them.  When the partner is injured, her family refuses to acknowledge the relationship and Emily is not allowed to spend any time with her before she dies.  Emily feels that by moving to Vermont to become a college professor, she has a chance to start her life over.  When she meets graduate student Ann Hight, there is an instant attraction, but Emily is scared to trust their feelings because Ann is straight.  Emily is also unsettled because Ann is hesitant to tell her family about their relationship and Emily fears a repeat of what happened with her former partner.  When Ann’s brother conspires against them, Emily flees to Europe to give them some space and time for her to recover from what she believes is another dose of misery.  Just as they are about to reconcile an accident and then a health crisis interfere.  Emily’s future depends on her learning to trust Ann enough to lean on her, but that is a hard thing to do for someone who has had her trust betrayed so badly in the past.  Ann is frustrated because she loves Emily and doesn’t feel she should have to pay for or be judged by Emily’s previous experience.  Whether or not they can break down each other’s walls will determine if they have a future.

Werlinger has produced a better than usual first novel.  The writing is tight, the editing is good and the characters are written to be three dimensional.  The plot flows well, is engaging and holds the reader’s interest.  A couple of scenes are a little contrived, but not enough to detract from the story.  Romance fans will like this book, but it has more development than the typical novel in this genre.  The story goes into depth about the issue of trust and the emotional baggage that can come with it, especially in a situation such as Emily faces.  One way to know that a character is written in a convincing manner is when the reader would like to take that character and slap her for some of the things she does.  When a character elicits that type of response it’s usually a sign of “reality.”

Looking Through Windows is one of those books that gives a reader a very satisfied feeling when it’s finished.

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