5.0 out of 5 Stars. The Twelfth of Never May 9, 2013
Elloree is a wife and a mother to two darling boys. However, she feels like something’s still missing. That something jumps out at her one day in the form of her old boss Mark calling her up, asking her to come back to Wishes, the company they helped build up together. She’s an artist, and her designs will help push the company to new heights; however, her husband is not too keen on the idea of her going back to work. Eventually, she makes up her mind to dive back into Wishes, spending more and more time there as she does so. This leaves Tom, her husband, to pick up the slack at home, but instead HE works even more, until their family starts to pull apart around them. Will they be able to pick up the pieces, or will they continue down this path of destruction, one step at a time?
I rather enjoyed this book, as it’s something that I’m sure happens every day, all around the world: Family dynamics are tested based on outside influences, such as going back to work after being a stay-at-home parent. It’s incredibly easy to identify with at least one character in the book, whether it’s Elloree, the one trying to get back her passion for doing something she loves; Tom, who’s trying to keep his family the way he’s become used to; or the children, who just don’t understand why Mommy isn’t around all the time anymore. I found myself invested in the story and the characters almost from the start, especially as time progressed and the family unit became less cohesive. I was eager to see what would become of them, but also a little afraid for them, especially the boys, as they seemed to be having a difficult time of it. Understandable and relatable feelings and emotions were definitely at the forefront, and I could easily see myself as a bystander, watching and waiting for the inevitable outcome.
I would definitely like to read more from this author, and I will certainly be on the lookout for any new works by her. — Kristin A. Kim
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
5 out 5 stars
This took me by surprise—very pleasantly so.
When I read the ‘blurb’, I was expecting a gentle, ambling story about a wife struggling to decide whether or not to continue being a trophy wife to her wealthy husband and stay-at-home mum to her two young boys or to feed her artistic talent and need to express her creativity by going back to work for her former employer.
But it had an awful lot more meat on the bones. The anguish she experienced went further than just her: it was shared by her husband who feared her proximity to her former boss (was he her ex-lover?) would rock the increasingly unstable marriage. His paranoia wasn’t helped by his own work problems. It was also shared by her sons, who found it hard to cope with a mum who just didn’t seem to be around very much. It was even shared by her former boss, who, while determined to win her back to his growing company, doubted his confidence in being able to keep her with him.
The repercussions of her decision echo loudly, resonantly, and dramatically.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was classy, sophisticated, well written, reasonably well edited, and it was easy to put yourself into each of the main characters’ shoes to see their points of view and feel their passion, whatever its focus. You didn’t necessarily have to like the character: there are one or two undesirables and one or two (deliberately) irksome ones. It was easy to feel an emotion (good or bad) for all the characters; there were none who could be ignored.
This book was about decisions and what-ifs. I found it hard to put down and that’s always a good sign, I think! —Cathy Speight
4 of 5 stars
This is one of the BEST books I have read in a long time where character development is concerned. The conflicts of Elloree and her family are so compelling and transcending that it had me thinking about the book long after I had finished. The only thing that didn’t work for me was that I sometimes felt as if I was being told too much at the same time.
Overall, Marilyn Holdsworth has managed to do something rather wonderful in this gentle story. I was definitely absorbed in the book, and it was more than a satisfying page turner; there were many moments in the book when I felt the characters were real and I was part of their textured world.
At one and the same time I was eager to be making the continuing journey of narrative , and yet – I wanted to stay exactly where I was and savor the moment, the reality of where the characters were NOW – she had somehow stopped time for me and I was reading in a very present way, inside the world of Elloree.
This is a book for all times. The characters are so vividly real that the reader can almost touch and talk with them. Loved it.
—Imagination in Books
Disclosure – As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
4 of 5 stars.
For this reader, Holdsworth really captured a unique and believable slice of life. The story follows Elloree, a wife and mother struggling with a life that doesn’t fulfill her. She has some choices to make about the future and needs to examine the reality around her and explore what’s happening just beneath the surface.
Beautifully written and realistically tells a story that draws you in. Holdsworth does a fantastic job at making you really care about the decisions these people make. I enjoyed this book so much. It is both dramatic and touching at the same time – I really found myself caring about what would happen to the characters. As the story progresses I felt more and more like I understood the feelings and emotions being portrayed.
This is a must read! —Amy Logan