Poring over a dusty hatbox of photographs in her grandmother’s closet, Emily Prentice is shocked to discover her father was married to his high school sweetheart before meeting her mother.
In the summer of 1968, Jack and Libbie fall in love under the spell of their small town, untouched by the chaos of the late sixties. Though Libbie’s well-to-do parents disapprove of Jack’s humble family and his aspiration to become a mechanic, she marries Jack a year after they graduate high school. But soon their happiness crumbles as Libbie’s mental state unravels and she is drawn to alcohol and drugs. Despite his efforts to help her, Jack loses the woman he loves and is forced to move on with his life.
Now that Emily’s mother has passed away, Jack is alone again, and Emily grows obsessed with the beautiful woman who had given her father such joy. Determined to find Libbie, Emily pieces together the couple’s fragmented past. But is it too late for happy endings?
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Deanna Lynn Sletten grew up on the sunny coast of Southern California before moving to northern Minnesota as a teenager. Her interest in writing novels was sparked in a college English class, and she has been writing in some form or another ever since. In 2011, Deanna self-published her first novel and has since published several more, both on her own and with Lake Union Publishing. Deanna enjoys writing heartwarming women’s fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes readers on the adventure of a lifetime. She believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, magic, and happily ever after—all of which are reflected in her novels. Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian shepherd or relaxing on her boat in the summer.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Favorite Quotes: Opening the bottle, she took out one pill and held it in the palm of her hand. It was such a tiny thing, yet it could relieve such heavy pain. Her thoughts drifted to another room, another bed, another nightstand with a glass on it. That's when it hit her - she'd become her mother. My Review: Finding Libbie was a difficult and melancholy read for me. I struggled with the profound angst and duplicity occurring during this tale, as those tropes are just not among my favorite things. The story captured my attention from the beginning and I found the premise interesting and intriguing. Recall of good and bad memories of the time period began to surface. I had watched the draft lottery air on black and white television as a child. Similar to Jack and Libbie, I also became of age living in a small inbred town in the 70s, and it brought back - with unsettlingly clarity - memories of living through the era of inflation, Nixon, Viet Nam, protests, and the unfortunate trends of over medicating, Valium abuse, family secrets and covered up shame of mental instability. I had enjoyed Libbie and Jack's courtship until Libbie began to unravel. I seriously floundered as the narrative became painfully dreary, tediously repetitive, and mired with Libbie's abysmal disintegration. I chaffing at the injustice and frustration of for poor Jack and was near despair when the story finally shifted back to the present timeline and the tension of my body began to ease. I was ever so grateful to have stayed the course as I was moved to tears and actually sobbing by the thoughtful and moving conclusion. I wrap up my review to advise any angst loving readers bravely readying themselves to dive into the deep end of emotion - I warn you - it broke my heart, but it was worth the agony. Please prepare and gather your comfort foods, libation, and a box of tissues before cracking open page one.
I was intrigued by the premise of Deanna Lynn Sletten's novel, Finding Libbie. Emily is helping her grandmother pack up the family farm when she finds a hatbox filled with old photos of her father as young man. Her grandmother tells Emily that they are photos of Emily's father Jack with his first wife Libbie. His first wife? Emily had no idea that her father was married before. Her own mother died last year, and Emily knew how much her parents loved each other and how devastated her father was when she died. The story of Libbie, a beautiful young woman from one of the town's most prominent families, and Jack, the hardworking son of a cabinet maker who lived on a farm, is related through flashbacks. Jack was head-over-heels in love with Libbie when he swept her off her feet in high school. Libbie's mother was openly hostile to Jack and Libbie's relationship, looking down on Jack as just a lowly mechanic, someone who couldn't possibly make her daughter happy. But Libbie was in love, and Jack's family treated with kindness and respect, unlike her mother and older sister Gwen. We see how Jack wooed Libbie with romantic gestures, and was thrilled when she agreed to marry him, over her mother's strenuous objections. They lived in a little cottage on a small lake, and Jack worked as a mechanic. Life was good. Libbie tried hard to be a good wife, keeping house and cooking meals she learned from Jack's mother, but she soon grew bored. She began to drink, and her moods swung wildly. She feared that she was becoming more like her mother, who increasingly began to spend her entire day in her dark bedroom, drunk and taking pills. Jack was distraught; he did everything he could to help make life easier for Libbie, but when her father bought them a big house, Jack had to work more hours just to keep up with the bills, and so he spent more time away from home. The isolation that Libbie felt only made matters worse. Eventually we discover what happened to Libbie and Jack, and Emily sets out to try and find Libbie. In her journey to find Libbie, Emily discovers some things about her own life. She has been living with and supporting her boyfriend while he goes to school, and she has to decide if this is the life she is willing to settle for. I loved Finding Libbie, and it's not the genre of book I usually enjoy. I found myself so caught up in Jack and Libbie's story, and Emily's journey too. I read it in two sittings, and it even kept me on the treadmill longer, the sign of a truly good book. Sletten handled the topic of addiction and mental illness with sensitivity, and I daresay that anyone who has experienced that for themselves will probably appreciate this beautiful story even more deeply. Since the story takes place in the late 1960's/early 1970's, people didn't understand as much about these issues as we do now, and so didn't know how to handle them. Everything in this story- the well-drawn characters, the plot and the Minnesota setting during the Vietnam War-worked for me. I admit to tearing up at the end of the story, and if you liked Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook, this book is for you. I liked it even better than The Notebook. I highly recommend Finding Libbie.
Finding Libbie is a poignant tale of love found, love lost, heartache, and a trail of memories that will captivate your heart and soul. The author weaves a beautiful and dramatic tale that follows Jack and Libbie's love story. The story opens up with Emily Prentice discovering a hatbox of photographs of her father Jack with a young woman named Libbie. Unbeknownst to Emily, Jack and Libbie had been high school sweethearts who got married in 1968, but their short-lived marriage only lasted until the early 1970s. This touching love story takes the reader along on Jack and Libbie's emotional memory woven journey, it will draw you into their lives and will pull at your heartstrings. The author's descriptive writing style is phenomenal, she simply captivates your imagination and engages you to come along on the emotional roller coaster ride that is Jack and Libbie's love story, and then she brings you back to the present when Emily embarks on a search to find Libbie. The author has created an intriguing cast of characters who are realistic and complex people that the reader can relate to. Their engaging personalities grab a hold of you with dialogues and interactions that leap off the pages. The emotions and passion between Jack and Libbie are palpable, you can't help but feel for them as they deal with personal demons and relationship issues. Libbie's struggle with mental illness and addiction is simply heart wrenching especially for Jack who loves her so much, author Deanna Lynn Sletten sure knows how to draw out the emotions from her readers! This emotionally charged story is one that everyone who believes in love should read, it is a powerfully compelling story that will leave you wanting more. I could easily see this novel as a Lifetime Channel movie. Finding Libbie is a beautiful story of a couple's lost love through old memories and a painful past brought to the surface by a loving daughter who wants to help her father find love and happiness again. This love story is one for the ages, it will resonate with you long after the last word has been read. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.