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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Long Enough To Love You by Kirsten Pursell

Long Enough To Love You by Kirsten Pursell
Published by Atmosphere Press ISBN 9781639887552
Trade paperback, 352 pages, $16.99

In Kirsten Pursell's novel, Long Enough to Love You, Jenn is a 50-something woman whose children are on their way to adulthood. As Jenn prepares to navigate this new empty nest stage of her life, she takes stock of her own life.

She gave up her career to raise her son and daughter, something she doesn't regret. She put all her energy into being PTA President, and the sports mom who organized fundraising and never missed a game. What is her identity now?

Jenn "feels like a donut: whole on the outside but empty in the middle." She loves her husband, Mark, a lawyer who works long hours. Mark is a reliable, good man, but he isn't there for her emotionally and he doesn't see that she is struggling. 

Should Jenn stay in a safe place in her marriage and life, or should she leave and see what else is out there for her? She hopes that "the grass is greener on the other side or at least a different shade of brown."

When discovers that her parents each had tragic past loves that she knew nothing about, it adds to her confusion. Her mother was a "cold, miserable woman", who was not as loving to Jenn's father as she could have been, and Jenn never understood why he put up with it.

Jenn finds an old diary of hers that recounts a relationship with an old boyfriend and memories and feelings flood back. Should she reach out to him to see if anything is still there?

When Jenn asks Mark to be more communicative to her, he says that her hair looks nice and her new dress looks good. "The hair and dress look good. What about me? I wondered if he got what I was saying, if he understood that the hair and clothes aren't what I wanted him to see. I want him to see me and tell me I look pretty with my hair that way or I look beautiful in that dress."  Readers will relate to their communication issues.

There is much here that may resonate with many women in Jenn's empty nest situation. Long Enough to Love You would make a great book club choice, there is a lot here that would make for a good discussion. Jenn makes some choices that people can agree or disagree with, and I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. 

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Kirsten Pursell's tour. The rest of her stops are here:

Instagram features:

Monday, May 15th@nurse_bookie

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Tuesday, May 16th@fashionablyfifty

Wednesday, May 17th@the_unwined

Wednesday, May 17th@nerdy_book_lover_1987

Thursday, May 18th@suzylew_bookreview

Thursday, May 18th@booksloveandunderstanding

Friday, May 19th@biblioreviews 

Saturday, May 20th@pickagoodbook

Sunday, May 21st@jenniaahava

Monday, May 22nd@audreyoaksreadseverything


Monday, May 22nd:  Books, Cooks, Looks

Tuesday, May 23rdHelen’s Book Blog

Wednesday, May 24th@infinite.readlist 

Thursday, May 25th@reading.with.my.goldens

Wednesday, May 31stBookchickdi

Thursday, June 1st@kristis_literary_corner

Friday, June 2ndBook Dilettante

Friday, June 2ndSubakka.bookstuff and @subakka.bookstuff  

Sunday, June 4thGirl Who Reads

Tuesday, June 6th@mommaleighellensbooknook

Wednesday, June 7th@ifcatscouldread

Thursday, June 8th@books_bulldogs_booze

Friday, June 9th@webreakforbooks

Monday, June 12thSusanLovesBooks

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