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Four years after burying his young wife, New York sales executive Christian Crews still can't move forward with his life. Day after day, treasured memories of his beloved Elyse continue to ...
Four years after burying his young wife, New York sales executive Christian Crews still can't move forward with his life. Day after day, treasured memories of his beloved Elyse continue to drift through his spirit like an endless procession of mournful ghosts.
Chris wants to leave Manhattan-walk away from his job and the apartment he and Elyse once shared. He dreams of moving to New Hampshire, where he feels he just might have a chance of finding peace. But in his grieving mind, breaking away from those memories would be the same as abandoning Elyse-an unforgivable act of betrayal he could never live with.
Then, on the fourth anniversary of Elyse's death, Chris makes two shocking discoveries, and a part of him begins to believe that she would want him to go on with his life.
Two weeks later he makes the move to New Hampshire, and minutes after arriving in the small rural village of Mountain Step, he meets a beautiful local woman with mesmerizing gray eyes and a heart as big as the surrounding mountains. Beginning another emotional relationship may be the last thing on Chris's mind, but he soon finds himself falling for Gina Elkin, every bit as hard as she's fallen for him.
Could there be a future for them? Will Elyse allow it? After all, she's still deep within Chris's heart-a place no one else has ever been.
Posted February 28, 2014
A short novella with strong themes of healing, loss, moving forward, grieving, loving again.
WITHIN A MAN'S HEART is a 71 page (75 minus front matter) short novella, written by Tom Winton. In first person, this story is entirely from the male protagonist's point of view. I believe the story was believably accurate to the male point of view given it was written by a man. The inner dialogue rang true to the male perspective.
Christian (Chris) Crews lived in NYC/Brooklyn all his youthful years. He married his highschool sweetheart, Elyse, and they had 12 wonderful (normal, with normal irritations) years. But Elyse was taken from him. Cancer. Gone forever. And he's only about 40 years old. Too young to give up on living.
I loved the light hints of paranormal themes....Chris's sense that Elyse was leading him to move forward (it's been 4 years since her death), guiding him out of NYC to a rural setting in New Hampshire, to be surrounded by special people who can help him. While Chris's depression and grieving is natural, healthy, in keeping with human nature, I didn't find it too dark or miserable to read....just natural. The characterization was deep and meaningful. When Chris meets Gina, a resident of Mountain Step, NH (his new community) he begins to feel interest and a connection he hasn't had with anyone but Elyse, and certainly not at all since he lost her. He fights it, as any loyal and faithful husband would. Chris is easy to like and understandable in his motivations as the story progresses over several months' time.
I found the dialogue awkward at times, enough that it pulled me out of the story. Glitches like overuse of peoples' names in dialogue...no one talks that way! ALL CAPS seemed awkward, too. Not a writing style I'm accustomed to. While there were misuses of punctuation and misspellings, misuse of words, these errors were minimal and overall the novella is well edited and formatted. These glitches did not overshadow the compelling emotional truths, so true to human nature and the emotional reactions that ran so deep.
I'd categorize this novella as sweet (generally clean language and other than kissing, free of sexual content), a love story (rather than a romance, as the plot doesn't follow the romance plot arc), and with the very slight glimmers of the paranormal -- General Fiction. I enjoyed this novella enough that I'm very interested in reading more by Tom Winton. Recommended for fans of serious fiction (don't plan on smiling or chuckling during this read). ~kristin