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Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Not all those who wander are lost...": The Runaway Wife by Elizabeth Birkelund

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're shining the spotlight on a title that's set to hit bookstore shelves this coming Tuesday via Harper, thanks to BookSavvy PR.  It stars a wintry journey to the heart of the Alps for both pleasure AND business...and that business is more entrenched in the feelings of the heart than you might imagine.  Ladies and gents, grab your climbing gear and bundle up, or if you're in the 100+ degree heat like I am, you might keep your warm weather clothes on an utilize the full power of your imagination, as we welcome today's book of choice...


About the book...


Recently fired from his high-power finance job and dumped by his fiancée, Jim Olsen has come to the Swiss Alps to clear his head. At the charming Cabane des Audannes, he meets Clio, Thalia and Helene Castellane, who are on a quest of their own: their mother, Calliope, has fled to these mountains to escape her philandering politician husband's most recent scandal. As snow threatens to descend upon the Alps, the women have come to bring their mother home.

But the sisters are at the point of surrender; it is time for them to return to Paris. Buoyed by wine and inspired by their beauty, Jim impetuously volunteers to assume their search, but soon realizes that he is in over his head. The Alps are filled with beauty and danger, not the least of which is Calliope's desire to stay hidden. And all the while, Jim finds himself haunted by the memory of her daughters and conflicted in his desire for them.

The Runaway Wife is a story of adventure, survival, and romance—and of a man's discovery of a world outside his conventional life and a new vision of himself within it.


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This is a story that is as much about a journey through the Alps as it is a man mapping out his heart.

Jim starts this portion of his life with a single step, just as we all begin any unknowingly life-altering journey, that leads to a week long adventure in some of the harshest terrain known to man.  One heartfelt request from the Castellane sisters three, delivered in flirtatious glances, a set scene, and acting skills to boot, and this inexperienced climber feels like he can tackle the world whilst looking for one soul lost among its nooks, crannies, and crevices.  Problem is he was vulnerable when he accepted this challenge having just had his heart broken into tiny pieces.  Problem is that he IS an inexperienced climber, this being his first actual mountain trek, and despite his football-esque appearance, the places he will have to travel are demanding to those that know it like the back of their hand.  Problem is that the famous J.R.R. Tolkien quote applies here very well..."Not all those who wander are lost..."...nor all those that choose to be "lost" want to be found.  Life, love, and death hang in the balance for more than soul on this incredible journey...let's just hope that these's enough left of them all to survive the final outcome.

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Left you in a bit of a lurch, have I?  GOOD!  You deserve the chance to read this tale to discover all the pitfalls, all the hardships, all the surprises, and the eventual end, for yourself.  On my own journey through the pages, I discovered that despite his bravado, I really and truly liked Jim. His transformation along the way was most remarkable, so much so that his former self would not recognize him, and my heart beat a song of joy just for him.  He deserved happiness, or the potential of, even if it arrived in an unforeseen manner.  The other half of my characters to note list belongs to a Castellane, but not the three you might be thinking of.  No, the sisters, Clio, Thalia, and Helene (yes, all named after Muses), made an impression, but not that much of a lasting one for me personally.  No, the true soul I found invigorating right there next to Jim's was the object of our search, Calliope.  What a name, right?  As exotic as it sounds, that was only the ice on the tip of the mountains because her soul was as vibrant as the oasis of peace and light she made/found in an otherwise foreboding landscape.  Her commune with nature, her respite from the everyday tortures of her real world duties, brings her such a vast amount of joy, it's contagious.  You can feel it emanating from the page, hear it in the calls of the owls, taste it in the fish stew shared, and see it in your mind's eye as they race through fields of flowers when snow is just a heartbeat away.  It's all right there for the taking and even as we learn about her life down-mountain, it still hits just as hard.

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In the end, it's a story just as much for the fellas as it is for the ladies.  The journey of the heart taken is not unknown to most, in some fashion or another, as we seek beauty and love in our own lives.  The danger and adventure undertaken provide elements to entice those that might otherwise squirm under the aforementioned aspects alone.  Though at times it may seem more about the mountain than the man, wait...take a moment to bask in what you're reading because when the real world comes crashing back in, you'll be wishing for that glacial escape.


About the author...

Elizabeth Birkelund in the Alps

Elizabeth Birkelund is author of the novels The Dressmaker (Henry Holt & Co., 2006) and The Runaway Wife (Harper Collins, July 2016). Formerly the “Money Talk” columnist at Cosmopolitan, Elizabeth worked as a freelance magazine journalist, writing at such outlets as Self, Glamour and Working Woman, among others. She currently serves as a trustee on the boards of the National Humanities Center and the Center for Fiction in New York. Elizabeth is a graduate of Brown University. She has four adult sons and lives in New York City, where she is busy working on her next novel, an espionage romance.



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Special thanks to Eileen at BookSavvy PR for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title hits store shelves 07/12/16 via Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!


Barbara S said...

well . Talk about tear at the heartstrings this one review does it for me I can't wait to open the book and find out what transpires wow

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