by Katherine Clare Owen
REVIEWED BY: Ellen Fritz
This is the story of a young widow who learns that starting over begins with her past, revealing secrets, and letting go. With her husband Evan's tragic death, Julia Hamilton considers only one truth: death abducts the dying, but grief steals from those left behind. At her husband's funeral, a despondent Julia encounters Jake Winston, Evan's mysterious best friend, which leads to an inexplicable connection that saves her life, but leaves her questioning everything else. Unsettled by Jake and grief, she escapes to Paris with her young son and her inner circle, Kimberley and Stephanie. Months later, Julia returns to the life she left behind in New York intent on finding out where things stand between her and Jake, but soon learns the venerable attorney has complications of his own. But it's the revelation of betrayal by the one person she thought she knew that leads Julia to embark on a personal journey in search of the truth about her life, herself, and the answers to her most difficult questions. Can she trust anyone? Or, does she need to learn to trust herself, most of all?
For Julia there is the 'before' and the 'after'. In the before part she has her parents and the unbelievably handsome boy who gives her, her first kiss. In the ‘after’ she loses her parents, then her fiancée and then her husband. Now she is afraid to love and let anybody get too close, for fear of losing them too. All this sets her on a course of battling grief, self-discovery and unearthing of secrets which turns her entire way of thinking upside down.
A romance with a whole lot of depth, “Seeing Julia” is not the kind of book you want to read in a hurry. To experience the depth of the emotional turmoil caused by the devastating losses Julia suffers in her life, you'll probably find yourself rereading large portions of the book. The in-depth descriptions of her heart-wrenching sense of loss, is balanced by the beautiful caring nature, and actions, of friends.
The story is masterfully written in a first person present tense perspective. It brings the reader in very close contact with the thoughts and feelings of the main character. I effortlessly identified with Julia's desire to be a normal person, doing normal things, in a normal life. All she wants is to be seen for who she is and not as the widow of the highly successful businessman, Evan Hamilton. Above all, she wants to spend her life caring for her son and securing a future for him. But getting to that point, she has to undergo a journey of self-discovery.
Realistic characters always impress me and in this book they are plentiful. The way in which Julia's friends supported her throughout the ups and downs of her life, was heartwarming and enduring. No matter what happened in Julia’s life, her inner circle of friends were always there to not only support her emotionally, but to also take an active role in her business affairs, and also in her love life.
I recommend this novel to all who enjoy a highly emotional story that tugs at your heart strings with a main character who shows remarkable growth throughout the book. “Seeing Julia” rightly deserves its 5 stars!
ELLEN’s star rating: 5/5
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“Seeing Julia” by Katherine Clare Owen has received 13 reviews on GoodReads. View them here - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11490624-seeing-julia
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