Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Ninth Step by Barbara Taylor Sissel ~ My Thoughts #TheNinthStep


The Ninth Step

The Ninth Step
by Barbara Taylor Sissel

Print and ebook, 236 pages
Published August 30th 2011

A novel of timeless love, loss, and family and the steps we must take for forgiveness.

Livie Saunders is fluent in the language of flowers; she taught the meanings to her fiancé, Cotton O'Dell, but then Cotton vanished without explanation on their wedding day forcing Livie to learn the language of desolation. Heartbroken, she buries her wedding gown beneath a garden pond and she resolves to move on, but there are nights when she slips . . . into a sequined red dress and a pair of stiletto heels, a stranger's bed, a little anonymous oblivion that is not without consequence. Still, she recovers a semblance of ordinary life and imagines herself content. After all, Cotton told her to forget about him. Livie even maintains a friendship with Delia, Cotton's mother, whom he also abandoned without a word of explanation.

Then, six years later, an unsigned card and a bouquet of irises signal Cotton's presence, but his reunion with Livie isn't as joyous as he had hoped. While she struggles to forgive him, Livie can't hide her own past and how she has changed since Cotton left.

Meanwhile, Cotton is still haunted by the crime that caused him to flee...a crime for which the legal clock is still ticking. For a moment, it seems they can both forget the past and rebuild their lives together, but then Cotton goes missing again.

Time telescopes, avenues of escape close, and as lives hang in the balance, choice teeters between mercy and revenge. And a decision that will take only a moment will carry the consequences of a lifetime.

The Ninth Step is a story of redemption, of being brought to your knees to face a monstrous error and somehow finding the strength to make it right. Even if that effort breaks your heart, endangers your freedom, and ultimately threatens your life.


My thoughts about The Ninth Step ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"It was late on A Thursday afternoon in April and Livie was at the top of Peachtree Lane when she saw the car, a Mini Cooper at the bottom of the long shallow hill where the water tended to pond after a heavy rain." 

The Ninth Step is filled with emotions—love, heartache, betrayal, guilt, friendship, atonement, forgiveness—so many emotions. And all of these emotions are what make this such a wonderful story. The reader feels all of these emotions, right along with the wonderful characters that Barbara has created. 

When I reached the satisfying conclusion, I knew I would be reading more of this author's books. I loved it and I'm excited to see what else she has written.  

I received a copy of The Ninth Step from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


About the author

Barbara Taylor Sissel

Barbara Taylor Sissel writes issue oriented, upmarket women's fiction that is threaded with elements of suspense and defined by its particular emphasis on how crime affects the family. She is the author of nine novels, WHAT LIES BELOW, THE TRUTH WE BURY, FAULTLINES, CROOKED LITTLE LIES, SAFEKEEPING, EVIDENCE OF LIFE, THE VOLUNTEER, THE NINTH STEP AND THE LAST INNOCENT HOUR.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, she was raised in various locations across the US and once lived on the grounds of a first-offender prison facility, where her experience, interacting with the inmates and staff, provided a unique insight into the inmates' lives, the circumstances behind the crimes they committed, and the impact on the families that were affected. Her novels focus on the family at the heart of the crime.

Barbara indulges her other passions, exploring, hiking, gardening, reading and stitching on and around the farm where she lives in the Texas Hill Country.. ~ Amazon

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