Surfacing by Isabelle Santiago

“I pad toward the bookshelf against the wall. There are countless science books: Biology, Chemistry, Micro-Biology, Physics, Environmental Science, Astronomy and a random copy of Road and Track, one of the car magazines Ryan is so crazy about. I frown at the overcrowded bookcase. Don’t I own any personal reading books? Romance novels? Mysteries?”

I cannot tell you how much I love that this is one of the first indications in Paige Jacob’s life that makes her realize that her life has gone out of balance.  Surfacing by Isabelle Santiago is about a woman who has everything—perfect house, gorgeous cop fiancé, great job in a gorgeous location…

But sometimes everything… isn’t everything.  Even the perfect life can’t always measure up to the fantasy.  Especially when you’ve lived the fantasy.  When Paige was seventeen, she lived in a tiny hole-in-the-wall town in New Mexico, and her life was anything but glamorous, but then she met a silver-eyed boy who was, quite simply, out of this world.  They have a whirlwind romance over a matter of months, before he disappeared from her life, leaving her with nothing but an unfulfilled promise to return.

Fast forward ten years, Paige is living in Los Angeles and her life has moved on, and yet she can’t put this ghost of her past to rest.  In an attempt to finally exorcise her past love, she’s writing a “fictional” novel about the experience—much to the dismay of her sister Aimee, the only one who knows her true story.

But is writing this story too much for her?  Can she even believe her memories herself?  Where exactly is the line between memory and fantasy?  And how can she think she’s not losing her mind when she runs into a man in a coffee shop who has silver eyes—but no memory of her?

I can’t explain how much I love this story.  Paige Jacob’s journey is inspiring.  This is more than your average romance novel, it’s very much a story of self-discovery, or re-discovery, rather.  This isn’t a choice between good and bad, but between good and better, which is so much harder to make.    This is a story of a woman who wakes up in her sedate, adult life and realizes she doesn’t even recognize the woman she’s become.  And then, in the ultimate of brave acts, goes in search of what’s been missing in her life.  She breaks some hearts along the way, but at the end, the reader can’t help but be satisfied with the way things turn out.  And along the way we have a fascinating character, not to mention some truly great side-characters.

Currently only available online at Freya’s Bower.  It’s a quick, fantastic read, which is about all I can handle during this busy move.  Highly, highly recommended.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Tess MacKall said,

    Wonderful review. And this is truly a great book.


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