Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Our Reunion by Jenah Watson

Publisher:            P. D. Publishing

Jenah Watson says in her acknowledgements that it took her five years to write her book. The quality of the book and its story would say that it was five years well spent. 

Our Reunion is about two women who reconnect at a high school reunion. Samantha Whitewell plays in her older sister Lisa's band and they are providing the entertainment for the event because Lisa is a member of the class, which is reuniting after twenty-five years. The news that Christina (Tina) Mellekas will be attending the dance immediately interests Sam who remembers the attractive woman from when Tina was on the track team with her sister. Sam spent many afternoons sitting in the bleachers waiting for Lisa and watching the team practice…specifically watching Tina practice. Tina has become something of a mystery figure for the class since a tragic automobile accident years before when she was injured and her brother was killed. When Sam and Tina are reintroduced, Sam feels herself immediately drawn to the older woman and senses in her a profound sadness. That is enough to convince Sam that what Tina needs is a friend and that she can fill the role perfectly. Tina however feels she has led a dark life and that she isn't the proper type of person to be forming a friendship or anything else with a kind and charming woman like Sam. As the story unfolds the two women struggle to find a foundation for this friendship and then to deal with emotions that draw them into a much deeper relationship. Sam at times trusts too much and Tina has difficulty trusting at all. 

This is not a quick, easy description of two women who immediately fall in love and go off to live happily ever after. It is an unfolding of how real relationships develop and the stresses and triumphs that are usually experienced in that process.  Many books seem to rush through the story to get to an end. You may enjoy the trip, but you miss a lot because everything is happening so quickly. Our Reunion takes the time to develop the characters and to explore why they behave as they do. The reader is allowed to develop an empathy for Tina's fears and an appreciation for Sam's frustration. By the end of the book you feel as if you really know these women. This is not a slow-paced book however. The reading progresses very quickly, but the length of the story gives you the time to appreciate what is happening. This is one of those books that you almost hate to see end.

As a final plus, this book is put together well. Having read a book just before this one that was less than half as long, but full of typographical and grammatical errors, it was a pleasure to read a book that was well edited and devoid of mistakes. The cover is attractive and the book is sturdy. This book feels worth the price that is paid for it.

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