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A Good Read

Posted on: August 1, 2008

I recently finished reading Without a Backward Glance by Kate Veitch. She will be doing a reading from the book at a bookstore during the time I’m in Denver. I’m planning to go and look forward to meeting her. I’ll share my review that I posted on Goodreads.

I really enjoyed this book. In the beginning, it was hard not to dislike Rose, the mother because she walked away from her children and husband seemingly without an explanation. Yet, because you are given insight into her mind, you can also be sympathetic with a woman who perhaps shouldn’t have been a mother and who wants something more from her life. Rose is creative and artistic and living in a time and place where that isn’t appreciated or encouraged in women.

It would be easy to see Alex, the husband, as a victim of Rose. But the author makes him human with flaws and rather than feel sorry for him because of his wife’s abandonment, the reader is able to relate to him as a person who has also made mistakes. If Alex were a different type of man, Rose may not have left. In many ways, they weren’t suited to each other and ended up together because of an unplanned pregnancy.

The book however, is really about the children who were left behind and their individual struggles to finally grow up. Facing reality and one’s responsibilities is a thread that runs throughout the book. As the protective layers are peeled away, the children are finally able to become adults.

Life is messy and this book doesn’t gloss over that. People often act without thinking about long term consequences. Fortunately we sometimes get second chances to make things right. Kate Veitch offers an insightful look into the consequences of difficult choices. Highly recommend this book.

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