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Reunion: A Novel by Therese Fowler

Reunion: A Novel

by Therese Fowler

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A powerful talkshow host reconnects with first lover in Key West, while looking for the son who was given up for adoption, and she becomes attracted to ex-lover's son who despises her at first. The plot seems sensational but the subtle and solid writing style makes the story poignant; the words really flow and describe any scene so vividly without any fuss. ( )
  emigre | Jul 10, 2009 |
I was pleasantly surprised at how unputdownable Reunion was! Right from the start, I became immersed with Blue - almost as if I was part of her fan club, but I had the insider scoop that made her less invincible and more human. Her history with Mitch was more complicated than I made it out to be (he being several years older than her with some divorces under his belt) - and I could see the great influence each of them had on the other, but most especially Mitch's influence on Blue. Therese Fowler has an addictive writing style that I really enjoyed and hope to discover again in Souvenir (her debut), although it is said to be very different from Reunion. ( )
  theepicrat | Jun 22, 2009 |
Blue Reynolds lives a hard earned life of wealth and significance as an Oprah-esque host of her own syndicated talk show. Seemingly as put together and clean cut as they come, what the public doesn’t know is that behind the polished exterior Blue is trying to keep a secret from the world. Scorned by her significantly older married lover Mitch, Harmony Blue Kucharski (as she’s then known) picks up and runs away from her job, family and friends to live a drug and party filled existence. That is until she realizes she’s pregnant.

Scared, relatively alone, and confident that keeping the child is a bad idea she hires a midwife to facilitate a home birth and closed adoption. After giving her son up Harmony takes to rebuilding her life by focusing on a career in the media. Changing her name and navigating a series of increasingly important jobs Blue finally finds herself at the top of her field in The Blue Reynolds Show. As the premier talk show host in the counrty Blue does her best to use her influence for good in the hopes of filling the void her absent child left behind.

At the peak of her popularity Blue embarks on a mission to find her child all while keeping the secret from her family, majority of her friends, and most importantly the public. As luck would have it during a location shoot in Key West she runs into Mitch and his family and the process of rekindling their long defunct romance begins. Or does it?

Undertaking the secret search for her son, navigating the romantic entanglements between she, Mitch and countless others, as well as handling her career Blue certainly has more than her fair share of issues to handle.

The Chicago base for Blue and her talk show was a bit distracting because of the strong resemblance to Oprah’s home base. Given the fact that Chicago didn’t play a major role in the story overall Blue’s childhood and subsequent career could have been set in any large city and worked just as well. In fact, the only point of geography that played a significant role in the story was Key West and in this case it was wonderfully portrayed and valuable to the progression of the story.

Furthermore, the main reason Blue was hiding the secret birth and child she’d given up should have been given more focus. Small references were made several times but it seemed minimally significant, more an afterthought than an actual expansion of the overall plot. To make the secret and it’s later fall out more believable it should have had more prominence throughout the story.

What I loved about this story is Fowler’s ability to build great characters. She does a fabulous job crawling into their minds then depicting it to the reader. Major players (Blue, Mitch, Julian) each have his/her own in depth back-story that intrigues enough to stand alone, yet they are intricately intertwined together in subtle places so subsequent relationships are all the more believable. of the story were well written with realism and focus to detail. Each character’s motivations and the interaction with his/her respective partner generated feelings of compassion, longing, and hope.

In the end, the beauty of this story lies in the strong relationships built. Not only does Fowler focus attention on numerous romantic entanglements, but also the strain of distant family relationships, the love parents have for their children, and the effects one’s professional choices have on their personal lives. ( )
  galleysmith | Jun 15, 2009 |
Blue is best thought of here as “the white Oprah”. She’s enormously rich, enormously famous, and hiding an enormous secret that not even her own mother knows – she gave up a child for adoption when she was young and irresponsible and suffering from a broken heart. Reunion is the story of what happens when your past comes back to haunt you, and in this case the haunting is both good and bad. Blue is able to reconnect with a lost love, discover a new one, and at the end must make one of the biggest decisions of her life. I’m not sure about the suddenness of one of her decisions (near the end), but it sure makes for an interesting twist in the story. I particularly enjoyed the Key West setting. Fowler does an excellent job of capturing the laid-back relaxing feel of the whole island and culture. Overall, I thought this was a great read, especially for summer – not too light, and not too heavy. ( )
  miyurose | Jun 1, 2009 |
Therese Fowler's Reunion examines the secrets many of us carry and how they can direct our lives and decisions. While some could consider this a light read, it deals with a number of deep issues, including teen pregnancy.

Harmony Blue Kucharski/Reynolds is a young girl with a deep crush on a junior professor and son to her boss, Mitch Forrester. After a whirlwind romance, Mitch breaks her young heart, and she embarks on a destructive path that ultimately leads her to a decision that must be kept secret after her career begins to take off. Two decades later, fate brings them back together in Key West, Florida, and Blue helps Mitch with his pet video project about writer's like Hemingway.

"In Chicago, the snow was falling so hard that, although quite a few pedestrians saw the woman standing on the fire escape nine stories up, none were sure they recognized her. At first the woman leaned against the railing and looked down, as if calculating the odds of death from such a height. After a minute or two, though, when she hadn't climbed the rail but had instead stepped back from it, most people who'd noticed her continued on their ways. She didn't look ready to jump, so why keep watching? And how about this snow, they said. What the hell? It wasn't supposed to snow like this in spring!" (Page 13)

Blue is a complex character floundering in her decisions and striving to find true happiness, and Mitch has tried all kinds of happiness, but has been unable to patch things up with his only son. Blue's mother, Nancy, is an aging hippie still looking for love, and her sister has found a family life she can be proud of, though she still seems to have a hard time dealing with her sister's success as TV personality--much like Oprah in Chicago.

"Without the interruption of commercials or the finite images of someone else's interpretation of a story, she could more easily fit herself into the romance or drama unfolding inside a book's cover." (Page 54)

Fowler's writing is down-to-Earth and captivating. The characters pop from the page. While there are multiple story lines in Reunion, Fowler weaves them well and transitions seamlessly between them. Although this book could be considered chicklit or women's fiction, there is much more beneath the surface; all readers have to do is scratch the surface. ( )
1 vote sagustocox | May 27, 2009 |
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The envy of women across the country, successful and wealthy talk-show host Blue Reynolds is secretly lonely, but when an unexpected reunion with the love of her life, Mitch, gives Blue the opportunity to redeem her past, she seizes her chance at love.… (more)

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