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A Quiet Life (edition 2022)
by Ethan Joella (Author)
A Quiet Life: A Novel by Ethan Joella
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This is a lovely, emotional story about loss, grief and coping mechanisms. There are three main characters, a man who has lost his wife to cancer, a young woman whose father was killed at a gas station incident and another young woman whose child has been kidnapped by her ex husband. As the tale progresses, these three people’s lives connect through their heartache and pain. I read this book via the Pigeonhole app over ten days, a stave a day. I looked forward very much to reading each instalment. It’s a heartwarming, moving and thoughtful story with some well drawn characters. Although it is a book about the sorrow and sadness of losing someone special, it is also about hope. Highly recommended. ( )
3 people, all grieving a lost one, try to move on with their lives. Chuck's wife, Cat, died last spring, and he is lost without her. He recalls an argument with Cat, about a young girl, Natasha, and he feels he needs to make amends. Kirsten's dad was murdered at a Philadelphia gas station. She misses him dearly, and looks for a sign from him. Ella's daughter, Riley, was taken, and she desperately wants her home.
All 3 struggle with moving on, and their paths cross each other, and together, they hope they are able to move forward.
A heartwarming, sweet book.
A quietly pleasant book, focusing on three community members of a Pennsylvania town, each confronting massive disruptions in their lives: Chuck, a recent widower, who cannot move on without his wife; Ella, whose nine year old daughter has been abducted by her ex-husband; and Kirsten, whose father was randomly murdered at a gas station. Their lives intersect in somewhat mundane ways, but the results are heartening for all three. It's a comforting read, all the more surprising because the author is male and I'd say about 99.8% of family sagas like this are women. Kudos to Ethan Joella!
Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, what a wonderful story. Your heart can break in so many ways and Ethan Joella has found three of the most perfect, sympathetic foils to express love and loss. Everything about this book spoke to me, each of the characters, each of their losses, the ways they tried to get through each day and keep on.
Joella doesn’t exactly define love but he lets the reader know that he believes that is a necessity we all need. He thinks “maybe loving someone so deeply means accepting the fact that they occupy a specific, clear place in you.” He explains that the price that you pay when you love so much and lose that love, feeling ripped asunder makes sense. When you have love consider yourself fortunate to have been able to feel so strongly for another. It appears that he ascribes to Tennyson’s affirmation; “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
People love, they suffer loss, they try to stand back up and try to move forward but it is hard, really, really hard. Each day feels like it is trying to knock you back down and you become your best friend and worst enemy. Everything that was easy become torturously difficult - tears are a half a beat from falling. Losing your other half, your strength, your “I will love you forever and always” is sometimes more than the heart and mind can bear. To all of those who have suffered that depth of loss and have tried to soldier on - may peace find you.
Thank you Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for a copy of this amazing book.
A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella is a very highly recommended heartbreaking and heartwarming literary novel following the lives of three people who have all suffered a terrible loss. Joella's first novel, A Little Hope, was on my list of best novels of 2021 and A Quiet Life is also an excellent novel.
In a Pennsylvania suburb, Chuck Ayers, Ella Burke, and Kirsten Bonato are all experiencing tremendous grief and loss. Chuck's wife, Cat, has died and he is struggling with living without her. Ella is simply trying to survive by working constantly while hoping for information about her missing daughter. Kristen's father suddenly died and she has set aside her goals while working at an animal rescue center and trying to deal with the loss.
This is a beautifully written novel that you will cherish as you read each carefully crafted word and connect with these wounded souls who are trying their best to carry on while under a great emotional burden. Chapters alternate between the lives of these richly portrayed characters in heartbreaking narratives until their lives converge unexpectedly and emotionally.
A Quiet Life is very much a character driven novel. With empathy, hope, sympathy, and emotionally accessible language, Joella makes these character all realistic individuals you will care deeply about. All of them are portrayed as fully realized characters with great insight and realistic details. There is great comfort found in the journey these characters undertake and the healing they are slowly experiencing. In the end the encouragement to be there for someone are words that can speak to all of us.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Scribner via NetGalley.
From the author of A Little Hope--a Read with Jenna Bonus Pick--comes an enormously powerful and life-affirming novel about three individuals whose lives intersect in unforeseen ways. Set in a close-knit Pennsylvania suburb in the grip of winter, A Quiet Life follows three people grappling with loss and finding a tender wisdom in their grief. Chuck Ayers used to look forward to nothing so much as his annual trip to Hilton Head with his wife, Cat--that yearly taste of relaxation they'd become accustomed to in retirement, after a lifetime of working and raising two children. Now, just months after Cat's death, Chuck finds that he can't let go of her things--her favorite towel, the sketchbooks in her desk drawer--as he struggles to pack for a trip he can't imagine taking without her. Ella Burke delivers morning newspapers and works at a bridal shop to fill her days while she anxiously awaits news--any piece of information--about her missing daughter. Ella adjusts to life in a new apartment and answers every call on her phone, hoping her daughter will reach out one day. After the sudden death of her father, Kirsten Bonato set aside her veterinary school aspirations, finding comfort in the steady routine of working at an animal shelter. But as time passes, old dreams and new romantic interests begin to surface--and Kirsten finds herself at another crossroads. In this beautifully crafted and profoundly moving novel, three parallel narratives converge in poignant and unexpected ways, as each character bravely presses onward, trying to recover something they have lost. Emotionally riveting and infused with hope, A Quiet Life celebrates humanity in the midst of uncertainty.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6000 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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