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The Words Between Us

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

It is said that truth is stranger than fiction. And yet, I've read many fictional stories that fly beyond what is realistic and believable from a human emotion capacity. There is a nebulous space between truth and fiction that balances the two in a believable yet compelling way. This novel is a rare example of that delicate equilibrium.

The characters in this story couldn't be more authentic. They're messy, passionate, and emotional. They're real. Robin, Sarah, Peter, Dawt Pi... everyone is reflective of someone you might walk by going about your daily routine. Each has their challenges to face. And the way Ms. Bartels tangles those challenges between them provides invaluable insights, for both the characters and the reader.

I'm admittedly not much of a poetry person from a reader standpoint. It is difficult for me to immerse myself into the emotion of the intricate language sometimes used. But I learned something about myself over the course of this novel. While it might be cliche, patience truly is a virtue. In today's world, it's easy to get caught up in the immediacy of everyday activities, forgetting to inhale and exhale-not physically, but instead, mentally and emotionally.

The poems included within this text spoke to me, because I had the patience and investment in Robin's character to fully understand the emotion contained between and inside each word. And that's a beautiful thing.

I have always believed that words have an innate ability to influence. And after reading this story, I realize there are so many varied dimensions to that statement. Spoken. Written. And even those that are simply thoughts inside our head. They each have the power to change a small piece of us, and maybe something even bigger.

"The Words Between Us" was a true pleasure to read, as much for the story as the exquisitely beautiful and authentic prose used to share it. Often indecisive about what my next read will be, there is no doubt I'll be picking up Erin Bartel's debut novel next, a testament for her ability to capture this reader's emotional attention and never let go.

Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️☕️


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