A Journey to Hereby Margaret Johnson-Hodge, Robert Ramirez
Sylvia "Suvie" Allen can’t complain. After nineteen years of marriage, her husband can still make her laugh, and her two adolescent daughters have managed to stay out of trouble. She's content with the present, the future looks good, and the past—well, into every life a little rain must fall. As a teenager, Suvie suffered a deep betrayal by her best friend, Dorothy—and her boyfriend, Philip. But Suvie healed and survived. Still, it isn’t all up to Suvie, as she discovers the day she opens her front door to the last face she ever expected…
It’s been thirty years since Philip Butler laid eyes on the woman he once wronged so terribly—not that he hasn’t paid a price with his long, unhappy marriage. Even his beautiful home in Atlanta and his affluent life with Dorothy can’t fill the void in his heart. Whether it’s a mid-life crisis—or simply a truth that can no longer be ignored—at age forty-seven, Philip is taking stock, and he’s determined to win back the love he lost. But his cross-country journey takes Philip, Suvie, Dorothy, and their families to places no one could have anticipated—starting a cataclysmic chain of events that will change everyone’s life forever.
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One reason that Margaret Johnson-Hodge's novels are so popular is that her characters are real women who have real issues with whom her readers can relate, for we all have some of the same experiences--living, loving, making mistakes, growing and learning from the experiences. With her latest offering 'A Journey to Here' Margaret has reached a new level of exploring relationships: between spouses, between parents and children, and between friends. She examines and redefines the boundaries and responsibilities of friendship with her vivid characterizations of Suvie and Dorothy early in the novel, then later in the novel with Suvie and Lisa. This novel addresses infidelity and its consequences. The participants and the victims can not escape the painful consequences of first Philip¿s and Dorothy¿s actions; then later Suvie¿s and Philip¿s actions. No fairytale ending here, the trials and hurts, hits and misses of relationships are laid open--realism at its best! 'A Journey to Here' is not a romance novel, not a love story with a fairy tale ending; rather, it is a life story with life lessons readers will not soon forget.
The past is a bridge to the future. In Margaret Johnson-Hodge's newest literary offering, A Journey to Here, we find Sylvia 'Suvie' Allen neck deep in what she considers a good life. Happily married for nineteen years to Emory, two wonderful adolescent daughters, Aaron and Monet. However, the pretenses of Suvie's happiness step into the light when the past literally comes a knocking at her door. Phillip Butler, Suvie's first love from thirty years prior, is on her doorstep begging forgiveness and a second chance for the horrible act of betrayal that still haunts Suvie three decades later. The teenage Phillip and Suvie had been on the road of heartfelt young romance, sure to end up at Lovers Lane, which crosses with Forever Boulevard. Virginal Suvie felt a stirring in her heart that she was sure would eventually lead her to give Phillip her greatest possessions, her everlasting love and her body. But when teenage Phillip, in an act of raging hormone weakness, engages Suvie's best friend, Dorothy, the walls of Phillip and Suvie's budding romance come crashing down. Now, all these years later, Phillip wants out of his unhappy marriage to Dorothy and wants to start anew with Suvie. This causes Suvie to examine her deepest desires and reevaluate her own life. It's the catalyst for a series of events in her seemingly happy family that will have you on the edge of your seat. Suvie's husband, Emory, and her daughters, Aaron and Monet, will all face life-altering issues through the course of the novel, their triumphs and failings becoming the reader's joys and burdens, because the characters are so carefully drawn, so real you can practically feel their fingers on your skin. The journey to understanding for Suvie and Emory, Phillip and Dorothy is handled with an artist's stroke in Johnson-Hodges' expert hands. MJH's storytelling skills and poetic word phrasing is a glass of lemon and sugar on a sweltering summer day. MJH manages to take even the minor characters and bring them to life. Her portrayal of Suvie's hairdresser, Betty, with her admonishment to Suvie, 'breakage is your middle name', had me smiling ear to ear. Few authors take the time to bring forth fully realized characters, few authors value the reader as much as Margaret Johnson-Hodge. Every page, every word, is a blessed offering to those fortunate enough to pick up her novels. In this climate of underwhelming fiction, MJH is the salve, a novelist with gusto, stories that titillate your senses and stretch your emotions. Those looking for stories with high drama and no substance are best to look elsewhere. Those looking for stories that etch themselves in your soul long after the last page has been turned...your journey ends here, with Margaret Johnson-Hodge.
I truly enjoyed this novel. This is a great story about a couple married 20 years that took each other for granted. It takes the main character Suvie to see somthing from her past to realize the good life she has with her husband and daughters. Marriage is hard work. You may never stop loving your spouse, but I do believe you fall in and out of love, and it's hard work to stay in love. This novel will probably be an eye opener for long time married couples.
This was a true love story. You think just because you been with someone for 20+ years, you really know them. Some of us have secrets and we all have a past. When your past comes knocking on your front door, how you handle it can determine your future, especially if your spouse knows nothing about the so called past. This love story also makes a statement, never get releaxed in any relationship, keep the romance alive. I also enjoyed the fact that the characters were all in their 40's and aging. So everybody didn't foucse on the way they looked. The married couples were more into how to get their marriage back on track. Learning how to let go of the anger and hurt that you go through in a relationship. It also teaches you, that whats in the past, best stays in the past, you can't go back and fix the past. I highly recommend this book.