The Next Chapter is a book that’s small in size but big in heart. It is the story of a woman who loses her husband in a fatal auto accident and then loses herself to sorrow. Set in Northwest Oregon, the book captures the very essence of location with the accident taking place as Jim drives back across the mountain on a cold and rainy night.
After the accident, his wife Carol retreats into a life of work—but since her occupation is that of a wedding photographer, memories of what she has lost are forever in the foreground. Carol’s life circles around long days of work, evening visits from her neighbor, and telephone chats with Andrea, the daughter who now lives in Florida. When Andrea and her husband learn they are expecting a baby, they beg Carol to move to Florida where she can be near her daughter and grandchild; but Carol steadfastly refuses. She cannot see herself ever leaving the house that she and Jim shared since the day of their wedding—until she learns of the hurt she has passed along to her daughter. Although this is a situation that could easily have come across as
maudlin, the author delves into Carol’s and Andrea’s emotions with great
sensitivity and creates truly likeable characters.
On a visit to Florida, Carol discovers the truth of her daughter’s feelings and comes to realize that while one chapter of her life is over, another is about to begin. This book is a quick read but one that rewards the reader with an emotionally satisfying last page. Melanie Young has hinted that we have not seen the last of these characters, and I for one, hope that’s true.
The Next Chapter is available on Amazon and Kindle – here’s the link http://tinyurl.com/3lme2y8