Bridging The Gaps by Kate Warren
A timeless tale of love, pain, humor, and alcohol...
Ellen Pritchard thinks the world is over now that her husband has left her. If only that were the case. Instead she's forced to confront her fears and find who she is all over again while dealing with troublesome teenagers, an alcoholic son, and a man from her past who just might offer a second chance for both of them if Ellen can find the courage to take it.
With her eldest daughter and a group of unforgettable friends to lean on, Ellen will learn that "that which does not kill us" is life, and love is always worth the risk."
From the back of the book:
Ellen is forty-eight years old, a little on the chubby side, and has just been left by her husband of twenty-five years for his younger (and blonder) girlfriend of six months, a girlfriend Ellen didn't know about and who doesn't know that the new man in her life is still married.
Meet Ellen's Kids:
Stephanie, the oldest, is trying to find a balance between offering support to her mother and striking out on her own; DJ (Doug Jr.) is a college student whose grades are slipping in part because of his being too fond of alcohol, and who spends his spare time lusting after his dad's girlfriend; Matt and Melanie are fifteen-year-old twins--Matt spends most of his time keeping his head down and going with the flow as best he can, while Melanie dreams of getting their parents back together and starts sneaking around with an older boy.
Doug is a jerk, but jerks have feelings too.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll probably want to beat the heck out of Doug.
Set in the fictional small town of Troy Falls, Wisconsin, Bridging The Gaps features a cast of warm and humorous supporting characters and follows Ellen through the mire of divorce, the rekindling of old friendships, and the realization that "that which does not kill us" is life.
Now, my review:In the opening pages, we meet Ellen Pritchard. And her life has just fallen apart. Her high school sweetheart husband of over two decades--father of her four children, has just left her for a much younger woman. This is her story.
Not only is it Ellen's story, but like in real life--divorce affects many more than just the couple calling it quits. It's the story of everyone involved.
Her children--two young adults and 15 year old twins, each grapple with the whys, blame, and denial.
Ellen lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone. And she has a wonderful group of friends--wacky and sweet, who support her emotionally as she climbs her way through the many stages of standing back up and finding her life. And nudge her toward rediscovering Henry, a man from her past--decades ago.
This book was generously sprinkled throughout with bits of life--the triumphs, the tragedies, the joys, fears and disappointments. Everyone has them. They all cause gaps in our lives. And if we aren't careful, we won't take a chance that can build bridges across those gaps.
Warren has well developed characters who behaved quite properly. They displayed more morals than many of the characters I've recently read. The pacing is steady. And her voice made me think of classic writers such as Jane Austen.
Good book, has the heart of "The Steel Magnolias", and Ellen Pritchard's hometown sometimes felt like Mayberry RFD.
About the author: Kate Warren's prose shows her intelligence, but even more so, the sense of family and community instilled in her while growing up. As a writer from a large family living in small town America, her values come though in her words. They are tempered by the wisdom learned through life--that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and vice-versa.
Her life is very busy: She has been married for 13 years; is the mother of three sons--all on the autism spectrum, and one daughter. She squeezes in precious writing time between being wife, mom,, and extreme advocate for her sons--assuring they receive the best education possible.
Admittedly, I am so lacking writing this Bio. Kate is an amazing person--we've not yet met in the real world but I've had online interaction with her for some time. I've read excerpts of her writing on her blog, and was not surprised at just how good her book was.
Author Kate Warren