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Between Here and April by Deborah Copaken…
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Between Here and April (2008)

by Deborah Copaken Kogan

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2153354,496 (3.49)25
Recently added byCharlieThompson, adlarson, private library, lyssajo, arcadia123, sawtooth, daniellnic, madlomae, Deb10
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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
I really give this 3 1/2 stars.

This was one of those books that was really tough to put down. It was a quick read that kept me interested and engaged throughout, and I can't really think of a place where it slowed down.

The author does a fantastic job of intertwining and juxtaposing two very different, yet also very similar stories. Adele Cassidy's story is echoed throughout the novel by Elizabeth's own relationship with her mother, and again by her relationship with her two daughters. Although Elizabeth and her mother did not react to the struggles of motherhood as severely as Adele, it is becomes easier for the reader to sympathize with Adele, and to see her as something other than a monster.

Although the ending was poignant, it left a few holes to be filled - most notably, how Elizabeth and Mark saved their marriage. Did they go to therapy? Does he know about her infidelity? Did she tell him about her rape, and if so, did it help him to understand her hatred of his bedroom behavior and/or was she able to get past that experience as a compromise? I know it's a somewhat trivial thing to wonder - they clearly worked out their problems for the time being at least, I just couldn't help but wonder how they worked through them successfully. And of course we do know what he did about his job, and that she was able to go back to some semblance of her career. But anyways, enough of my rambling about what I'd like to know about a fictional relationship :)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a page-turner, and one with substance that really made me think. I found it easy to relate to the characters, even without having (yet) the experience of being a mother.

*Review of ARC ( )
  bookwormam | Jul 8, 2014 |
This book was an intense, and in some places difficult, read, but it was well written and compelling. I read the entire thing over the course of about eight hours.
  arcadia123 | Feb 19, 2014 |
Really quite good. Unexpected outcome. ( )
  pidgeon92 | Apr 1, 2013 |

Kogan had so many threads of interesting stories going on here – a long-forgotten memory of a childhood friend that springs to the surface, a long-ago love affair, a marriage that has nearly succumbed to ennui, the tragedy of undiagnosed postpartum depression, and the struggle a woman faces when career seems more attractive to her than family – but this one just failed to come together in a seamless fashion.

As my mother would say, “Too much candy for a nickel,” especially when you finally GET the candy and it’s not as good as you thought it should be.

Unfocused and rushed – those are the two words that sprung to mind over and over as I read it. Good enough to hold my attention, but just marginally.




( )
  BluesGal79 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Elizabeth, a journalist and mother, is one evening jolted by the memory of a friend from first grade who one day "disappeared" from school. She embarks on a journey to find out what happened to the girl, April, and is forced to explore issues such as postpartum depression, patriarchal bias, and filicide. As she digs deeper into April's story, parallels to her own life and relationships, with her mother, her daughters and her husband, become clear. The result is a story that is both Elizabeth's, and April's, as well as April's mother, Adele's.
At times, I found this depressing and hopeless, but it is just that emotional depth that elevates the writing from something voyeuristic to empathetic. I found myself meditating on my own relationship with my mother in comparison to April's and Elizabeth's. I would imagine if the reader is also a mother, she might find this book even more poignant. Parts of it made me wonder if it wasn't a true story with identifying characteristics changed to protect the innocent/guilty.
Highly recommended. ( )
  EmScape | Jan 15, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"Midway in our life's journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood."

--Dante Alighieri, The Inferno
Dedication
For Paul
In memory of C.H.
First words
April Cassidy was my best friend from the first day of first grade in September 1972, until a couple of months later, when she failed to show up for school.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"When a deep-seated memory suddenly surfaces, Elizabeth Burns becomes obsessed with the long-ago disappearance of her childhood friend April Cassidy. Driven to investigate, Elizabeth discovers a thirty-five-year-old newspaper article revealing the details that had been hidden from her as a child?shocking revelations about April's mother, Adele." --Cover, p. 2.… (more)

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