top of page
  • Writer's pictureCaroline

The Words Between Us | Blog Tour

Photo by Daniel Williams

Back Cover

Robin Windsor has spent much of her life under an assumed name to avoid association with her infamous parents. She thought she'd finally found sanctuary running her used bookstore in quiet River City, Michigan. But when she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the morning of her father's scheduled execution, Robin is thrown back to the summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. Why would Peter be making contact now? And why does she have a sinking feeling that she's about to be exposed all over again?

With evocative prose that recalls the classic novels we love, Erin Bartels pens a story that shows that words -- the ones we say, the ones we read, and the ones we write -- have more power than we imagine.

My Thoughts

A cranky parrot named The Professor, a bookshop straight out of Audrey Hepburn's Funny Face, a mystery, an adventure, and plenty of witty humor to offset a rather serious theme -- what is the power of words?

I have turned The Words Between Us over and over in my mind since finishing it, trying to find a way to describe it. I have never read a book like it.

Since the heroine, Robin, owns a bookstore, she sums up the way I feel when I try to write reviews. When someone asks her about a book, she says:

”There is always a pause after this question as I quickly attempt to encapsulate an entire novel in a one or two sentences….It’s not easy. Each time, when I hear what comes out of my mouth – so inadequate, so small compared to what I had experienced while reading – I feel like I’ve snatched the story from the author’s hands and trampled it underfoot.”…

This book is steeped in classic literature, which lends it a charm and depth born of centuries of great writing. And the poetry! Little-known fact about me -- I'm a sucker for poetry. (Even if poems aren't your thing, though, you'll still love the story.)

From the very first page, I was pulled deep into Robin's mysterious, reclusive life. Her father is condemned to execution, her mother sentenced to a life in prison. She does her best to avoid the media while managing her failing bookstore. Her life is uncomfortably comfortable, but rather dusty and two-dimensional, until padded manila envelopes arriving in the mail from someone in her past bring everything into question again and force her to relive the path that brought her where she is now.

Peter was a lovely character. :) It's easy to get frustrated when the heroine is unnecessarily hard on a really sweet hero, and such was the case with Robin, *eye roll* but in her defense, she did have a lot to process for a teenager. Robin inspired sympathy in me, but I can't say I loved her as a person. She definitely needed a Peter to balance her prickliness.

I have a love-hate relationship with dual timeline stories -- usually I'm just getting into one timeline and then get ripped away into the other one at the most inconvenient times, which makes me skim through chapters in frustration to get back to the story I'm most interested in. But Erin Bartels did it so seamlessly and both stories were so unique and unexpected, that I (almost) didn't mind at all. Chapter by chapter, the story of adult Robin and 14-year-old Robin begin miles apart, and, slowly and effortlessly, "then" catches up to "now". It was like two lines that start parallel and then start slanting until they meld into one. Really, a pleasure to read!

Now, for some exciting news! I'll be hosting a giveaway SOON to give one of you my extra copy of this book! So if you are interested in owning this book for yourself, be sure to keep an eye on my weekly emails and my social media accounts! (If you're not already subscribed to my email list, now's the time to do it!)

Speaking of classic literature, what are some of your favorites? I'd love to hear in the comments!!


*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.*

bottom of page