Apart From the Crowd

Author: Anna McPartlin

Publisher: Downtown Press

Release Date: August 2008

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4

Format: PRINT





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Four unlikely friends are joined together for life in a quaint town in Ireland. Meet Mary, nicknamed Queen of the Sorrows, because she has loved and lost almost everyone dear to her in her short lifespan. These awful losses cause her to close herself off to the possibility of being loved or having love in her life again. She spends her days comforted by Mr. Monkels, her aging, ailing Lab, who loves her unconditionally and without question. She fears the day when she will lose her dear pet. Her routine life is thrown into a tailspin when she gains a new neighbor, an American that asks more from her than she is prepared to give. She isn’t the type to gossip to her friends about her problems because she has more problems than she can handle. Yet, something intriguing about the American man with secrets beckons her to befriend him in a small way.

Meet Penny, Mary’s best friend. She has spent nearly her entire life in love with a man who isn’t free to love her back. She has dedicated herself to him, giving all she can and getting nothing back. The drain of the affair has led her to sink into alcoholism and a destructive behavior. She hates him, and herself, for not being strong enough to quit this cycle of misery that she is living. However, she isn’t able to stop it.

 

Meet Ivan, Mary’s cousin. His wife and children left him and he has yet to recover from the loss. He misses them desperately and longs to have his family back. A creature of habit, he can’t function without the comfort of what is familiar. A new woman in his life and a new friendship with the American shakes things up and causes a little excitement and thrill for Ivan’s boring routine.

 

Meet Sam, who is escaping America and his demons to learn about Ireland, the country where his favorite grandmother is from. He is retreating from his draining career and his battle with drug addiction to find solace in Ireland. Moving into the cottage next door to Mary, a strange woman who obviously does not want anything to do with him brings all sorts of excitement into his life. He now has a life full of friends, oddities, and laughter galore.

 

These four “friends” find themselves APART FROM THE CROWD but bound together by friendship, however unlikely. Ms. McPartlin pens a novel that combines real life sorrow every reader can relate to concerning the ties of friendship, and saving lives and overcoming the past. Sam, Ivan, Penny, and Mary are all characters I could easily relate to, since their emotions virtually jumped from the pages. I found traits and characteristics in each one that made them real and sympathetic to the reader. Anna writes with such passion that I didn’t want the novel to end. I wanted to learn more about the characters lives. This is a warm novel with rich characters and a lot of heart!

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Lorelei Mattison

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Romance Junkies Content Editor: Michele

Romance Junkies Publishing Editor: Chrissy

 


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