Happy Book Release Day! A Charming Misfortune by Tonya Kappes it out today along with Versions of Her by Andrea Lochen, Fragments of Fear by Carrie Parks (a suspense novel), and Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler. Is there a new release you are looking forward to reading?
Versions of Her by Andrea Lochen takes two sisters on a journey into the past that will help them move forward with their lives. Melanie Kingstad-Keyes is a professor at Kinsley College and married Ben. While it appears that Melanie has the perfect life, she feels shattered inside. She had finally become pregnant, only to have a miscarriage at eight weeks. Melanie needs to get away from her life and her supportive husband. The family’s Lake Indigo summer home was left to Melanie and her sister, Kelsey when their mother passed away four years ago. Since they have not utilized it in fifteen years and there is no longer a renter, Melanie feels this is the time to sell it.
Kelsey Kingstad has always felt inferior to her sister, Melanie. She likes to read, bake and loves animals, but she cannot figure out how those skills relate to a job. Kelsey currently works at Green Valley Pet Lodge and has just gotten out of another bad relationship. She is not a fan of Melanie’s idea to sell the Victorian lake home, but Melanie is full steam ahead. Kelsey feels guilty that she was not home the day her mother died, and she does not want to let the house be sold out of their family. It has been in her mother’s family for generations and Kelsey remembers the happy times they shared here each summer.
Melanie’s first night at the lake home, she uncovers a secret door behind the Tree of Life tapestry in her room. There is a small closet type room with a bench inside. When Melanie exits the room, she has been transported back to her mother’s childhood. It is a door to the past that allows the sisters to view their mother’s memories. The sister’s, though, are unprepared for what they learn about their beloved mother. Will the visits into the past allow the sisters to move on with their own lives?
Versions of Her is the first novel I have read by Andrea Lochen and it will not be my last. I was immediately drawn into the intriguing story and I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. I thought Versions of Her was well-written and it had a good flow. I thought the characters were realistic and relatable. The sister’s relationship was an accurate representation as it reminded me of my relationship with my sister. Siblings may have the same parents, but they have differing personalities, likes, and looks. I enjoyed the portal to the past that Melanie discovered. Each sister had a different approach (of course). Melanie was scientific and cautious while Kelsey was the adventurous one. I could understand their struggle over whether to keep using it and if their actions could change the course of events. They wanted to learn all they could about their mother. But what if they discovered something about her that would change their view of their deceased mom? Versions of Her is an emotional novel with Melanie agonizing over her miscarriage and Kelsey grieving for her mother along with the guilt she feels over her death. I enjoyed the various book references throughout the story with my favorite being Amelia Bedelia. Versions of Her shares an important message about being yourself (do not try to be something you are not). Versions of Her has reflection, struggle, memories, challenge of forgiveness, a charming Victorian lake home, a cute canine named Sprocket, and two diverse sisters.
Versions of Her is available in paperback and e-book (on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks). Thank you for reading my review. I will feature Fragments of Fear by Carrie Parks tomorrow as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour. There is still time to enter to win a digital copy of A Genuine Fix by J.C. Kenney. Click here to go to the correct page. Leave a comment with your email address there to win. I hope you have a cool day (it is so hot outside). Take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader