Publication Date: March 8, 2013
In Losing It All by Marsha Cornelius, Frank is at his lowest when he meets Chloe in a soup kitchen and they give each other hope. When they meet again, Chloe is at her lowest. Frank helps her recover and they build a connection but is it one meant to last?
The author, Marsha Cornelius, gave me a copy of this novel in exchange for my review.
People don’t believe in light bulb moments. They have them all the time but sometimes they’re so subtle that without that sudden flash we don’t recognize them. Chloe and Frank both experience these life-changing flashes of clarity in Losing It All. For each of them, the moments are dependent on the other. Their struggle shows the thin line between what we perceive as having success and not being able to see anything but the bottom.
The real charm of Cornelius’s work is that these are good people looking to better themselves. They’re caring and have a worldview but know that the real work starts with them. When we meet Frank, he’s lost in a void of having lost half of his foot but not so consumed that he doesn’t recognize a young woman who needs him. He knows the story as it shakes out in the community won’t work to his favor but that doesn’t stop Frank from doing what he can. He’s a really good guy and is written so that the reader cares what happens to him. Our feelings for Frank are built into the real person rising off of the page and not any cheap manipulation of emotion.
Chloe has additional worries in her two children, Katie and Ethan. While a lot of the book is working hard toward an end and not achieving that end would be devastating all around, Ethan and Katie inject a life and innocence into the novel that many of us will recognize and embrace. Chloe was a beaten-down wife of a callous husband but when she breaks free of him she starts it’s a matter of time before her spirit builds.
Cornelius’s writing style is very complete. Technically, it’s flawless. The story and shifts flow seamlessly and lead the reader to look at the clock and be astounded at how much time passed by. The characters are fully fleshed out with realistic motivations. Things happen that may be a bit hard for the more sensitive readers, but the things that happen are real. Losing It All is an unconventional literary romance. The story is raw and holds no punches and stays with the reader long after the book is closed.
Readers may wonder why I seem to be spoiling the story. I’m not.Losing It All is a very different kind of read. Cornelius invests her work with very unexpected twists and turns, true to the hand life deals all of us. Working in security at a library down the street from a men’s homeless shelter, I’ve heard more stories like Frank and his compadres than I care to recount. There are folks who no matter how hard they tried, the struggle was simply too much. Cornelius has a keen sense of the real in her writing of this probably very hard to convey topic.
If you like romance, human interest or just generally well written literary fiction, pick up Losing It All by Marsha Cornelius today.
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