(Disclaimer – I won a paperback copy of Gina Heron’s debut novel WHAT’S LEFT BETWEEN US through a Facebook group I belong to. This in no way influenced the following review. My thanks to the author and BLOOM)
Secrets and lies can only lead to heartbreak. This is a universal truth that we too often forget, somehow thinking that we are immune to such vagaries of human behavior. But we’re not. None of us are. We are all broken – another universal truth – but we are not irredeemable.
The reality of all this comes home hard to Bay LaFleur when her childhood sweetheart Scott is captured by the Taliban during his tour in Afghanistan and Bay sets off on a journey – a journey to reconnect with her family… a journey to find herself. A journey through heartbreak, loss, and betrayal to find and bring back together the one thing that is really important in life – family.
As debut novels go, Gina Heron hits all the marks in WHAT’S LEFT BETWEEN US. Poignant at times, heartbreaking at others, the author takes a cast of colorful and multi-faceted characters and weaves them into an unforgettable story of love, loss, betrayal, redemption, and the indomitable strength of the human spirit.
Romantic Southern fiction doesn’t get any better than this. Moodily atmospheric at times, bright and uplifting at others, Bay’s journey will capture your heart and make you believe again in the power of love.
On a personal note, I had an almost instant connection with Bay. Not just because she is a fighter and the very definition of #warriorwoman; that is a ‘given’. Bay lost her sister in a tragic accident years before in their childhood, but… Lillie, it seems, is never really far away and the two of them have frequent conversations. My mother passed away several years ago – she is up in Heaven now, just as Lillie is – but I still talk to Mama. Every day. Every single day. We have mother-daughter conversations; Bay and Lillie have sister-to-sister conversations.
Both are reminders that when you truly and deeply love someone… they never really leave your heart.
I recommend WHAT LIES BETWEEN US without hesitation. A beautifully written debut novel and a story that stirs the soul, Gina Heron should be on everyone’s TBR list.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
(Writing under a mushroom somewhere in the Pacific Northwest)
29 January 2019