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Evenfall by Liz Michalski

Since I finished The Everafter I've had a bit of trouble finding a book that I like enough and that catches enough of my interest to want to finish it.  I've started a book, read fifty pages or read over a hundred pages, and decided that no, it just isn't worth it, and I don't really care to finish it, so I don't.  I've gone through several books this way: starting them only to never finish them.  I'm hoping that Evenfall by Liz Michalski is the end of that spell because, Lord, that is no fun at all.  Evenfall is the debut novel of Michalski.  It's a novel that drips in regret--that is, two of its main characters' lives are steeped in it, and the third main character is 'thisclose' to heading that way if she doesn't open up her eyes, see what's in front of her, grow a pair and kick that two timing, money grubbing lover to the curb real fast.

Evenfall's chapters rotate among three perspectives. Frank, the recently dead beloved uncle, whose spirit haunts the farmhouse passed down the generations of his family, spends his days dwelling on the past: mainly about what was, what should have been and the consequences of the actions taken in response to events beyond his control.  Of one thing Frank is sure: he made the wrong choice by marrying the wrong sister and staying in rural Hartman, Connecticut.

Gert, the old, prickly aunt, who abandoned both Frank and her family when it became clear that leaving Hartman with Frank was no longer possible; she was driven by the determination that staying was not a decision she could live with.  The years she spent away from home, the decisions she's made to cut out of her life the people she once loved most, have cost her dearly.

Andie, beloved niece of Frank and Gert, returns to her uncle Frank's Hartman farm and the only stable home she's ever known to help her aunt Gert clean it out and ready it for sale.  Andie's still healing from a failed love affair with a man both poorly matched and unfaithful to her; she hopes to spend a quiet summer alone with her aunt before moving on to a job in the fall.  Instead she falls into another love affair with a man ten years younger than her, whom she used to babysit and who has loved her for years.

As much about the sacrifices we make for ourselves and for our families and the regrets left in the wake of these sacrifices when life and love doesn't turn out as we planned.  In the end is the cost of the sacrifice worth the weight of the regret?  Do we make peace with the life we have or do we let the bitterness of disappointed dreams change us?

I recommend you check this book out the next time you visit the library.

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