Without You Here by Carter Ashby

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date:  September 9th 2014

This book proved to be a completely enchanting read. It had me in wrapped up in it’s pages and I could not get enough of this little world created by Carter Ashby. The story is about a 22 year old Ettie who one night has a fight with her boyfriend in his home town and then after breaking up with him she decides a winding down in a bar is required. After strolling inside the first thing she notices, or even who she notices, is a hot older man sitting alone at the bar drink in hand, looking lost and forlorn. She’s drawn and wants to put a smile on the man’s face so she decides to makes conversation. conversation leads to a game of pool. A game of pool leads to fishing. And fishing leads to uh… you can guess. And since this encounter is the very first time Wyatt has even experience the smallest amount of joy in two years by this young woman full of spark, he has a hard time trying to let go. A weekend is all it takes but will it be enough for either of them?

One might think that this book would contain a large amount of pain and sorrow due to the aspects represented in this book but that cannot be more further from the truth. As deep as it’s roots are in overcoming grief and problems that can swallow a man whole, it’s written in such a toned down way, that it’s focus is not particularly on the pain but rather on the overcoming of it, the joy in between the sorrow. That is one factor I completely adored about this book. The message it delivers; that it’s okay to let yourself smile and participate in all the activities that you know will make you happy. It’s a story about letting go of the past, no matter how much guilt it brings but that everyone deserves to succumb to the little joys in life regardless. There’s humour, the kind that makes you laugh a little louder than you expected.

I have a thing for the country stories. The way the whole quiet life is described leaves me with this home sick feeling even though I’m not a country girl and neither have I ever witnessed the South in America. Plus I’m British and we hardly experience any sun. I just loved living the country life vicariously through this book. It has a homey feeling and these type of books end up becoming unforgettable due to their nature. I also appreciated how big Wyatt’s family really was and how close everyone was to each other. It’s not often that people stay like that in today’s day and age so it was a wonderful thing to experience and read about.

The only problem I had was towards a reference during the epilogue part of this book. There’s a reference to schizophrenia and it’s used in a sentence that works as a joke. I don’t think any sort of serious mental illness should be used in the name of humour. I also think that the author meant to say bipolar instead of schizophrenic. (Sorry it’s the Psychologist in me).

There are things included in this story that I have utmost respect for. The fact that age difference was shown to be an unimportant factor and it showed that it really doesn’t matter who you fall for because everything such as age is just minor detail. I enjoyed experiencing Wyatt’s journey and having him recognise real joy for what it really is. I just wished I could continue living in their world and for the story to never come to an end. It was truly beautiful. So there you have it; all the reasons why this book is a must read. It’s a journey that displays the importance and beauty of life and delivers a message to the reader about experiencing joy in every little thing while you can. I conclude with a little passage from this book:

I scooted a little closer. “Don’t you want to know why I’ve been crying?” I asked.
“why would I want to know a thing like that?” he asked.
I shrugged. “Well, you bought me a drink. That’s sort of like an investment.”
“And in return I get to hear why you’ve been crying?” He swirled the whiskey around in his glass. “Aren’t you the least bit curious?”
He took a drink. “I reckon you got in a fight with your boyfriend.”
“how did you know?” I asked, truly stunned. Okay, so it doesn’t take much to impress me. I lived a sheltered life.
“Alcoholic’s intuition.”
“are you an alcoholic?”
“No. I just drink a lot.”

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