Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Words We Lost by Nicole Deese Book Review

About the Book:

Three friends. Two broken promises. One missing manuscript.

As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony--two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she's also desperate to find the closure she's convinced will come with Cecelia's missing final manuscript.

After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But then Joel Campbell--the man who shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters--offers her a sealed envelope from his late cousin, Cecelia, asking Joel and to put their differences aside and retrieve a mysterious package in their coastal Washington hometown.

Honoring Cecelia's last request will challenge their convictions and test their loyalties, but through it all, will Ingrid and Joel be brave enough to uncover a twice-in-a-lifetime love?

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

This is a touching novel about recovery from grief and healing from past trauma. Deese has crafted an engaging story with realistic characters struggling to make sense of the aftermath of the loss of a treasured friend. It is a touching exploration of friendship, misunderstanding, loyalty, and sacrifice. I like the plot structure. Rather than dual time, past events are revealed through the reading of a memoir, a chapter at a time. There is also the thread of a possible restoration of a romantic relationship woven into the plot. This is a good novel in dealing with all of those issues.

Unfortunately, there was for me a glaring error in geography. Deese has Cece think of the forty minute drive south from Oak Harbor to Port Townsend. (321) Even a glance at a map will show Port Townsend is at the NE tip of the Olympic Peninsula. There is nothing north of it except the Salish Sea. Traveling from Oak Harbor, which is on a island, to Port Townsend requires a twenty minute drive to the ferry and then a nearly forty minute ferry ride to Port Townsend. That Cece would drive to a coffee shop in Oak Harbor to write is just not reasonable. She would have rather gone to Sequim or Port Angeles as no ferry is required.

I do wish Deese had included more descriptions of the Victorian architecture of the buildings in Port Townsend. And the majestic Olympic Mountains. I wish Deese would have highlighted their awe inspiring beauty.

This is a good novel, well written with well presented characters. It is a touching story. If you do not live in the Puget Sound area, you will love it, I am sure. If you do live there, as I do, you may find the lack of geographical accuracy disconcerting.

My rating: 4/5 stars. 

About the Author:

Nicole Deese's ( is a Christy and Carol Award-winning, bestselling author of hope-filled, humorous, and heartfelt contemporary romance novels. When she's not sorting out character arcs and story plots of her own, she can usually be found listening to an audiobook and multitasking at least four different chores at once. She's a hoarder of sparkling water, a lover of long walks and even longer talks with friends, and a seeker of fun and adventure at all times. She lives in small-town, Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two freakishly tall teenage sons, and one princess daughter with the heart of a warrior. Photo Credit: © Rayla Kay Photography

Bethany House, 384 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

No comments: