Monday, February 19, 2024

Days of Wonder

Ella Fitchburg had all the yearnings of a young teenage girl, mostly she dreamed of falling in love. She was raised by her single mom who had grown up in a Chasidic community in Brooklyn, exiled when she brought the family shame. The two of them lived a simple life with no extended family and few friends. When Ella meets Jude at a party they share an instant connection. Although Ella is pretty and smart, Jude’s domineering and abusive father, a Judge, forbids the young couple from spending so much time together. When sneaking around becomes too much, the young lovers make one bad decision after another. Accused of trying to poison the Judge, Ella is sentenced to 25 years and Jude disappears. With an early release after only six years Ella tries to rebuild her life. Her mother does everything she can to make Ella comfortable but her attentions are suffocating and Ella is overtaken by an obsession to find the daughter she birthed and put up for adoption while she was in prison. When an address leads to the adoptive parents living in Ann Arbor, Michigan this is where Ella reestablishes her life. Living in constant fear of her actual identity being revealed, Ella lives in a world full of secrets and constant distress. As the story is narrated between the past and present the reader finally learns what really happened that momentous night, the night that changed everything. I really wanted to love this but didn’t. The writing is excellent but there is a lot of repetition and unlikable characters that are tough to root for. It could have been edited down and become a much smoother read. On the fence with this one. Publishes in April 2024. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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