My name is Evelyn.
I met Devon and instantly fell for him.
Weeks later he fell for my best friend.
Never one to make waves, I watched as they started a life together. I stood by as their family grew, was the maid of honor at their wedding and the godmother to their children. All the while, I was longing for him, watching as he became the perfect husband and father. I was never jealous. I wasn’t even angry that my best friend had the only person I wanted. I had simply resigned myself to living without his love, but still being a part of his life.
Then, one terrible day, my best friend died.
She died and we all struggled to live life without her. Slowly, as the pain eased, our eyes opened and Devon finally saw me.
This is a story about second chances and second choices.
This is the story of how my life changed in the absence of Olivia.
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Anie Michaels lives in the Pacific Northwest and her love of reading blossomed into a full-time writing career! She is married, has two lovely children, a bunny, and a kitten. When she isn't writing she can be found reading, drinking margaritas, and spending time with friends and family.
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Review by Michelle:
From the instant I heard about The Absence of Olivia by Anie Michaels, I knew this book was a must read for me. Before I even had my hands on it I was already reveling in the anticipation of the sweet sorrow of unrequited love, longing for the angst and drama it was sure to deliver, and waiting with bated breath for that one moment when all of the heartache and despair would prove to be well worth the torment. I had my moment. It was everything I had hoped for. Then, unexpectedly, this story became so much more and I was not only content in the end but elated, my interest was not only piqued, I was riveted. I was not only touched, I was affected profoundly
Readers take an emotional journey alongside the main character, Evie, in the wake of the loss of her best friend as she finally begins to find herself, to question what it is she thought she wanted all these years, to discover her own worth, and to put herself first. Evie's journey is long and arduous but it is one that we should probably all take at one point in our lives, one that is sure to pay off handsomely in the end.
I love when an author has the ability to make me begrudgingly fall in love with something. Whether it is an idea, a character, or a direction in the story, it is a magical thing when an author can make me forget all about that one thing/hope/dream/person that I was so dead set on and completely change my way of thinking. After ten long years of pining, burying, and denying an unexpectedly wonderful twist comes flooding in and had me singing a completely different tune. There I was with this new possibility on the horizon that I now wanted so badly for Evie and I come to find that not even that was in the cards for her! Anie Michaels has never steered me wrong yet though. Readers are led down an even steeper, windier road than first anticipated, in a completely different direction, and straight to a very different conclusion than ever expected, but we find that this path is the only one that will truly ever bring happiness and love into her life for good and transforming what could have been a wonderfully sweet and touching simple love story into an important and emotional personal journey.
It is mystifying and quite terrifying actually to think that one decision, one small set of circumstances, one situation could change where you end up in life and who you share it with, but often that is all it takes. It is also heartening and uplifting to consider that while we may think something is the be all end all for us, there may actually be something else bigger and better, something so much more amazing and beneficial and meant to be than we ever thought just around the corner from a staggering disappointment or a missed opportunity.
At first glance, this book appears to be a heartbreaking story about two people bound even more tightly by the loss of a loved one to find healing and happiness in the arms of one another, but it turns out to be a whole different story. The Absence of Olivia is a beautiful and emotional story of selflessness, self discovery, perseverance, and priorities. More than just a story about the love that blossoms between two people, this is the inspiring story of the love that comes from within, finding and embracing that love, learning to put yourself first, and loving and respecting yourself no matter what.
Anie Michaels immerses you in her emotional stories with her expressive and evocative writing making your heart pound, a lump form in your throat, and your pulse race. You will laugh with her characters, cry with them, love with them, and ache with them. A powerful, emotional, heartbreaking voyage as well as a surprisingly inspirational and empowering story, The Absence of Olivia is a book not to be missed.
*complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 5 Stars
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