When You Were Mine
Penguin, 2011 (2011)
Reviewed by Joan Burton
usannah and Doug haved been living together for ten years, and after all this time she still feels unfulfilled. Something is missing in their relationship. Doug is older than Susannah and has three children with his ex-wife. He will do anything for his children, but keeps Susannah on the outside. She believes Doug and the children take her for granted and at times feels like a servant to them. He has withdrawn from her family and rarely goes to any family gatherings with her. They are more roommates than lovers.
hen Susannah's brother gets married, Doug and the children do not attend. At the wedding, Susannah comes face to face with Rob, her teenage love, and suddenly old feelings begin to resurface. Susannah made a mistake years ago and wanted to be honest with Rob, but he was devastated and they ended their relationship. Now Susannah feels she never really got over him and had just buried her true feelings.
ith her world suddenly in an upheaval, Susannah tries to keep everything together as she helps her best friend Amelia deal with the shocking news that she has cancer. Amelia is a single mother with three young children and Susannah wants to be there for her in every way possible. But Susannah cannot stop thinking of Rob. When they reach out to each other, even though they are both committed to others, Susannah suddenly feels alive and happy. Amelia knows her best friend better than anyone and when Susannah confides in her about Rob, Ameila is not pleased. Now there is a shift in their tight relationship and each young woman feels adrift without the other.
hen You Were Mine
gives us a look into the characters' pasts, and compares them to who they are in the present. Susannah wants to follow her heart but is afraid of hurting others for her own happiness. We learn it is never too late to change the course of your life. Susannah is amazing, but her problems could belong to any one of us. This is a very thought provoking story that will have you asking yourself,
what would I do?
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