Running Against Traffic

Running Against Traffic

by Gaelen VanDenbergh

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Paige Scott is done in. Done for. Done with it. Having spent her childhood shuffled between relatives who ignored her, and her adult life hiding within the walls of her relationships with men, she is prepared to live out her empty days in her crumbling marriage to David Davenport. David has other plans, however, and flings her into a remote, impoverished world, in stark contrast to the wealthy cosmopolitan one that was all she knew. Here she is forced to face the betrayals of her past and learn, for the first time, how to care for herself, and for others.

Hilarity and tragedy, addictions, unexpected friendships, and Paige's discovery of running and the relief it brings propel her on her journey toward the mending of a broken spirit, and learning how to truly live. Step by step, mile by mile.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016376554
Publisher:, Inc.
Publication date: 02/15/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 418 KB

About the Author

Gaelen VanDenbergh is a writer, runner, and compulsive list-maker who lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter, a cat, several fish, and a one-eyed dog.

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Running Against Traffic 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
gd74 More than 1 year ago
As a man I was surprised when this novel was recommended to me that I would actually enjoy it. My normal genre of book is suspense, thrillers but I found myself invested in the characters and wanting to find out what eventually happened to each of them. The author did an incredible job of not only telling the story of the protagonist but as well of the other leading characters in this novel. Quite a few times I actually caught myself laughing out loud at some of the antics that went on in the book, and that has not happened in a long time. At first glance I thought this was typical chic-lit and would be turned off by it but to my surprise there are deeper issues that are delved into with the main character Paige as well as the supporting characters of Al and Bryce. The bottom line is when a book can keep you up later than you wanted to because you want to find out what happens next, its truly a winner. Impressive debut novel for this author.
natzers More than 1 year ago
Paige Davenport had it all - a rich husband and an easy socialite life - until her husband drives her out to the middle of nowhere and abandons her at a ramshackle house. For the first time in her easy life, she realizes that 1) she has no true friends, 2) she has never appreciated all the good things in her life until then and 3) she has never actually really lived. Running Against Traffic is a humorous story of how Paige slowly starts to pull herself together with the help of Deidre, Darnell, Al and Bryce - even if Al and Bryce need just as much help as she does! Paige was annoyingly useless in the beginning - I wanted to slap her silly - but grew over the pages of the book, even though she lapsed a few times. Al was a conflict of sorts - one thing that bugged me a little was how VanDenbergh left so many questions hanging about him - like what was stopping Al from just sleeping with her? Was he just being gentlemanly? Did he have a problem with it? There were hints and strange conversations with Darnell, his brother, but nothing really concrete - or maybe I was too dense to pick it up. (Or was VanDenbergh trying to keep it clean? If she was, then she shouldn't have even gone there... lol. It felt confusing. Like, I'm going to have you two in compromising situations, but no, not sex. We can't have the two of you actually having sex.) Overall, Running Against Traffic was a light, interesting read. True, some parts felt a little contrived, but it was an overall uplifting story of how even a spoilt young woman can rise amid challenging circumstances and make something of her life.  * I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Running Against Traffic is the intriguing story of a woman's journey of self-discovery and the rebirth of her life. Paige Scott Davenport was living a privileged life in Philadelphia with her wealthy husband David, until her world was turned upside down when David literally dumps her off in front of a dilapidated house in Wells Lake, a small town in western Pennsylvania. Paige finds herself in a downward spiral of depression and relies on alcohol to diminish the pain, but when she takes up running through the town of Wells Lake, she makes friends with the townspeople who help her on her journey to rebuild her life. This is a wonderful story of second chances, as Paige's journey of self-discovery is filled with trials and tribulations that teaches her to stand on her own two feet, helps her heal, and learn to live again. I loved the author's metaphor of the renovation of the tired, crumbling house bit by bit, as it reflected the gradual rebuilding of Paige's life. With the support of some quirky caring townspeople, Paige develops friendships and learns to care about herself and others. I really enjoyed the inclusion of local Philadelphia landmarks and the mentioning of my hometown of Brigantine, NJ, it made me smile and appreciate the richly detailed descriptions of the setting. I loved how Paige's story gradually unfolded, the author sprinkles bits of Paige's past throughout the story, interweaving it with her journey of self-discovery, I think that was very clever and kept me turning the pages. I loved the quirky townspeople of Wells Lake (Al, Deidre and Brice), their humor and antics made me laugh, it was so easy to connect with them, and cheer for them and Paige as they face the hardships that life throws their way. Running Against Traffic is a touching and poignant tale that has a great mixture of humor, drama and inspiration, you can't help but cheer on Paige as her journey teaches her valuable life lessons. This is a wonderful debut novel for author Gaelen VanDenbergh.
kbaby920 More than 1 year ago
While I did not fall madly in love with this novel, I did enjoy reading it. There is just something fresh about starting over, especially in a quirky small town where everyone knows every minute detail about its inhabitants and their lives. I had a couple of issues with the beginning as Paige found herself deserted by her husband. I mean, at first she thought it was a joke, laughed it off. And not a minute after when it dawned on her that he may not be coming back she immediately fell apart. For me, this gave me an instant dislike of her. I would assume that anybody deserted in a foreign town would immediately call someone for help, advice, call their jerk of a husband and ask for some details as to what the heck he was trying to accomplish by making this devastating prank. I mean, it would have been great to know, as a reader, at that particular moment, that Paige could not call David because he never talked on his cell while driving, or that she had no real friends or family. We didn’t find this out until almost a few days later when she decided to call her uncle. And we didn’t find out that David didn’t talk while driving until the book was almost over. Another issue I had, was the fact that we later found out she could call one her Uncle’s old maid whom she called a friend and maybe she could have helped…like in the beginning and not towards the end? I hated that Paige seemed so helpless and simple minded not to mention lack of common sense to have even tried to reach out from the beginning. She did nothing but skulks and mourns for a husband she sure as heck wasn’t in love with, hadn’t been intimate with in a while. I mean, I just didn’t get it and I had to re-read the beginning to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I wasn’t. Same scenario ten minutes later and I was still peeved. I found at first it was hard to connect with Paige because she instantly pissed me off, I wasn’t as a reader given any reason to like Paige, relate to her plight, be pissed at David instead of her. In that instant I sided with David. Paige was just…just…very very maddening. I mean that is no reason to desert your wife but I could see his point, when we later found out why he left her although there is more to his reasoning. Besides this first setback for me in the book, I continued although skeptically. But I came to love other characters in the book and found myself wanting to know more about them. Soon Paige redeemed herself by becoming more human and relatable, but it was like a roller coaster. One minute she was a good strong solid lead character and in the next I was pissed at her again for some reason or another. But who could not love Deidre the neighborhood mother hen who took in stray children off the streets, fed the hungry, and showed Paige how to look for meaningful things in life. There was also Darnell a well rounded (literally) bar keep who had a troublesome younger brother whom he cared immensely about. And who could not love the horribly broken Bryce or Al who Paige took in off the streets to help with home repairs in exchange for shelter and food. Once I connected with the cast of miscreants who lived in the small desolate town, I began to understand Paige a little. I followed her story of discovery and began to get into it. This wasn’t my favorite read, but it wasn’t horrible. It had a nice pace, good flow and the Author has a great writing technique. If only Paige had been more developed in a way that connection could be maintained, it would have been an awesome read.
MisfitGeek More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book.  It sucked in from the start.  I literally didn’t want to put it down.  I wanted to remain immersed in this little town with these wonderfully quirky characters.  It was a quick read but I really didn’t want it to end. The story felt realistic in the way it developed.  There was not a lot of backstory to begin the story but it was interspersed into the story as it was necessary.  The parallels in the story are cleverly used.  It was both heartbreaking and heartwarming.  At times it was laugh out loud funny. Character development was masterful.  I felt like I got to know Paige as she was getting to know herself.  I connected with her from the start.  Her reactions to what happened to her seemed quite natural.  Al and Bryce were very colorful supporting characters and added depth to the story as a whole. Read this book!  It is a breath of fresh air.  It would make a fantastic summer read!  This is a stunning debut from Ms. VanDenbergh.  I hope she will be writing a sequel as the ending kind of lends itself this and I would love to spend more time with these great characters.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Amber Ryan for Readers' Favorite "Running Against Traffic" is a story about one woman's journey to find herself, and the ups and downs she experiences along the way. Paige is the woman who is hiding inside all of us, the product of repressing extra baggage, in order to convince ourselves and the rest of the world that we are in control, and have it all together. Al, David, Jeremy, and Lucien are men we have all had in our lives at one point or another: the friendship with the hint of something more, the relationship that you can't leave for fear of the unknown, the disappearing lover that broke your heart, and the one whose heart you broke. This is a truly enjoyable and inspirational read that every woman can relate to, with just the right amount of turns and twists to keep you on your toes. As we all know, life does not always go as planned, and sometimes you find yourself stuck. This book is a helpful reminder that when that does happen, sometimes all you can do is keep moving. This book made me laugh, cry, and even took me by surprise at times. As a runner, I found myself relating to the powerful, purposeful feeling that Paige gets as she runs off her feeling of hopelessness. This book is so inspirational that it would make even a non runner put on their running shoes. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Running Against Traffic" by Gaelen VanDenbergh is a breath of fresh air.  I loved this book, which is surprising since I don't normally like this genre (women's lit.).  But I found it to be witty, interesting, and addictive.  It is a wonderful story of a woman rediscovering herself after being left by her husband in a small town. Talk about character development, the story revolves around Paige learning who she really is and how to stand on her own two feet.  She gets herself a job and takes in two boarders to help with the repairs on her house.  But the bonds that form between the roommates become the strongest and most meaningful ties for each of them.  They each have their own demons that they are battling.  But instead of trying to face them on their own, they face them together. The characters are relatable and lovable!  I have to give this one 5 stars.  Add this to your list for an up-beat read perfect for a lazy weekend or beach day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago