My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Sunny Side of the Mountain By Charliann Roberts
First Published by CreateSpace, January 29, 2012.
5 Star rating.
Whenever I begin to read a book, especially from an author I don’t know, I’m hesitant about the journey, and it goes without saying, a little fearful as to where the pages I am about to flip through will finally land me.
With guile and an imaginative means of inserting backstory into the first few pages, Charliann Roberts begins her story with a stroke of forward movement that straddles a linear path, devoid of deviation and any author intrusion along the way.
Not a new story: the tale of an abused housewife who has fallen into a pattern of loss of self-esteem to rely mostly on her children and the hope that her husband will change—stop drinking.
However, the simple, straightforward delivery made me feel as though I was peeking into someone’s actual life, forgetting I was reading about fictional characters playing on a make-believe stage.
Cassandra and her twins, Kyle and Kayla are close, and when life takes care of Jeff, the wayward husband—in the most unusual ways—the twins are not too traumatized. Life goes on and Cassandra, showing courage of heart, continues to live with a soft determination and a lot of grit.
It is impossible to mention here all the twists and turns without giving too much of Roberts’ story away. Let’s just say that the slow and comfortable read depicts strong details in all the right places, enough to make you linger and stubbornly read on. The book grabs the reader from chapter one, so you’ll need to set time aside to avoid the frustration of wondering what will happen next.
A few other secondary characters are worth mentioning. Shannon, the best friend, and her husband Dan reflect the future that lies before Cassandra. A hunky cowboy named Nick also rescues our heroine on many occasions, leaving the reader to wonder if he will be the one.
Roberts cleverly decides that the story doesn’t end there and takes us back to where she first began, once more penciling in bends in the road that leave the reader scratching his or her head until the very last page is safely tucked away.