A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, July 17, 2014


It Isn't Cheating if He's DeadIt Isn't Cheating if He's Dead by Julie Frayn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It isn’t Cheating if He’s Dead by Julie Frayn is a 2013 Julie Frayn Publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is an emotional story about the toll mental illness has had on the friends and family of a man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and also the positives that resulted from it as well.

Jem is a criminal defense lawyer who has spent the past four years trying to find her fiance who is mentally ill. This search took her into the world of the homeless and she began bringing food to them. Even after she learns the sad fate of Gerald, she continues to visit these people and feed them. When a new man shows up earning the nickname of “Chief”, Jem is determined to help him.

Meanwhile, Jem is finally able to start pulling her life together and really start living again. This brings her relationship with Finn, the detective that worked Gerald’s case, into a new light. But, before she can really move forward, Jem must grieve for Gerald, deal with Gerald’s very difficult mother, and the legalities of Gerald’s life which could get a little sticky.

This story has a real ring of truth to it when dealing with having mental illness touch your life. Many families chose to live in denial and attempt to sweep the stigma of the disease under the rug. They feel shame and embarrassment even though this is an illness like any other. I can’t imagine having a loved one go missing when I knew they were suffering from mental illness. Four years is a long time to put your life on hold and we must give Jem her propers for waiting until she knew Gerald’s fate before moving on to another relationship. Jem is a principled character and I admired her strength. Although things with Gerald have been resolved, Jem doesn’t give up on those she has been helping the past four years. Not only that, she really takes a special interest in one man who is obviously hurting. The journey she takes with him will give you chills.

Now, if I had to complain about anything it would be that the story seemed to just move at an incredibly fast pace.. it was a little too fast. I had a hard time catching my breath from one big reveal before we were off on another one. So, I guess I’m saying the pacing could use some work, but really it’s just a minor complaint.

This book is labeled as Women’s fiction, but I would also recommend it Contemporary Romance readers as well. Finn and Jen really heat things up between the sheets so there is a lot of romance included and not all heavy drama. There were many lessons we could learn from this story. Gerald possibly could have gotten help sooner if his family had not been so secretive about their family history and we should never make judgments about people when we don’t know the whole story. “Chief” was judged harshly by others and conclusions were drawn about him that just were not fair. No one was harder on him than himself though. I really, really recommend this book to everyone regardless of whether or not you enjoy romance in your novels or not. The story is so inspirational it will stay with you long after you have finished it.
This one a 4.5 rounded up to 5.

Julie Frayn pens award-winning novels and short stories that pack a punch. She has published three novels and one short, short story collection. Her work has won two gold medals in the 2013 Authorsdb cover contest, and the Books and Pals 2014 Readers’ Choice award for women’s fiction.
A bean counter by day, Julie revels in the written word. When she is not working or writing, she spends as much time as possible with her two children (grown adults, really), while they still think she’s cool. Follow her at www.twitter.com/juliefrayn and subscribe to her blog at www.juliefrayn.com.

Follow Julie Frayn
on her Website/Blog: www.juliefrayn.com

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, Julie! I love this review :D


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