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March 14, 2021

The Choice I Made by Cynthia Ellingsen ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


One day you will understand that the heart is only as fragile as the choices we make. I tell you this now – we all make surprising decisions for love. Ones that can tear our hearts out and leave us begging for answers. The most painful choice I’ve ever made, my dearest, was to say goodbye to you.

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The Choice I Made
March 2021; Bookouture; 978-1800192348
audio, ebook, print (314 pages); women's fiction
Julie and her husband Tristan live in Chicago and both spend all of their time working at their careers so that they can save for the future but they rarely take time to enjoy life.  Julie finally goes home to Wood Violet, a 140-acre Wisconsin resort lovingly built by her grandparents and now owned and managed by her parents.  Julie and her husband planned to spend the long weekend together to ease the issues they have been having with each other after her miscarriages.  

When Julie gets to Wood Violet she feels like she is truly home but when she sees her parents, she is very concerned.  Her mother had a stroke that her father told her was not serious but when Julie sees her mother, she's very upset.  She has some paralysis and seems to have given up on life. Their house is a mess and her father is working constantly to try to get everything taken care of at the resort.  At the end of the long weekend, she decides that it's more important to stay with her parents and help than it is to go back to her high-pressure job in the city.  

Tristan leaves angry with her for putting her parents ahead of their marriage. Julie finds out that some of her old friends are staying at the resort and they immediately connect with each other.  When they find a young girl living in an abandoned cabin at the resort, they are all concerned.  After doing some investigation, Julie finds that Margaret is looking for her birth mother and some of her information pointed to the resort.  Julie tries to help her while she is working at the resort trying to help with the financial situation as well as her mother's heath.  When she finds some hidden letters, things start to make sense but she knows that bringing it to light will totally change her family dynamics.  At the end of the summer, she has to decide whether to go back to Chicago and try to repair her marriage or whether she should stay at Wood Violet where she feels that she can make a difference and do what is important for her life.

The Choice I Made is a well-written family story about finding your true home and happiness in what you accomplish in life.  The characters feel like old friends.  There's love for family, friends, and husbands along with a bit of mystery and a beautiful setting.   This my first book by Cynthia Ellingsen and I definitely plan to read some of her earlier books.

Buy The Choice I Made at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter


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