on March 23, 2012 :
Life is never complete without love. When love is shared, the result is beautiful. However, when imperfections in our ardour occur, the results are heartbreaking, sometimes even tragic. Death, abuse, cheating, dishonesty, dissatisfaction – five reasons to leave your lover.
Set Yourself Free, Ellery – A Novella, explores the lives of Ellery and Julian. Their years of marriage resulted in beautiful twin girls and a resentment borne out of emasculation. Julian no longer felt needed. He found someone who made him feel important again. She was younger, had a child of her own, and is possibly pregnant with her second – Julian’s.
Following the breaking of the heart and sentimental items of entwined lives, come two short stories told from unique perspectives - Cinnamon, the always loving and faithful friend; Herman and Beth, together until the end. Loss in any form is taxing. When it comes in the form of love, the varied ways to lose your lover are endless, as is the pain in a mournful heart.
Author, Carolyn Moncel opens up the hearts and minds of her characters and allows you to feel the suffering of their loss. Set Yourself Free, Ellery is beautifully written and pulls no punches in the true reaction of any woman who finds the sanctity of her marriage vows to be broken by the man she loved and believed she could trust. What Ellery discovers about herself along the newly paved path of destruction that was her marriage, surprises even Julian.
Ms. Moncel reveals life as it really is – complete with imperfections and infidelity. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to do a little soul searching. Your troubles are not your own as her characters reveal. Everyone experiences love lost, but it is how you move forward that matters most.
Lee-Ann Graff-Vinson is the author of ‘Georgia’s Smile’, ‘Love’s Trust’, ‘Callie’s Fate’, and her most recent release – ‘Love And Liberty’ (now also available in print).
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Dec. 3, 2011 :
This is the first book of Carolyn's that I have read and I was very happy. I have not read Encounters in Paris in which the first couple, Ellery and Julien, were introduced. I was still able to enjoy the story without reading the first book. These short stories give a glimpse into 3 very different relationships. Though the first 2 stories deal with infidelity, which can be depressing, I found myself truly feeling sorry for the characters. Carolyn did an excellent job of making me feel what they felt. She painted a very vivid picture which brought life to the tale. The characters were well developed and thought out. I got to know them fairly well in such a short story. Over all I really enjoyed these short stories and would recommended them to anyone. I big thanks to Carolyn for giving me the opportunity to read her book. I look forward to reading her other works.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)
on Oct. 28, 2011 :
I started reading this book the other evening thinking, I'll just read the first story and then finish it off tomorrow etc but I read the whole book start to finish. The first novella deals with Ellery and her husband Julien, I am finding writing this review really hard to do without giving away spoilers, so excuse me if I seem a bit cryptic. I could really identify with Ellery and how she felt betrayed, and thought her vengeance on her husbands possessions were hilarious! I think the way Ellery stops herself from taking revenge on Katrine was also very realistic and showed what a good character Ellery was. she was above sinking so low as to take such a revenge. At the end where Julien and Ellery were talking disappointed me slightly as I wanted her to be an independent, strong women/mother and walk away from him, you know the saying "once a cheat always a cheat". Although we don't really know for sure what Ellery's final decision was, in my mind she rather naively took him back.
The second novella is written so brilliantly, it has you wondering who on earth Cinnamon is! I loved that part. I also enjoyed the way Cinnamon's loyalties changed from Steve to being loyal towards Leah, and how Cinnamon comforted Leah even though Leah had not considered Cinnamon as her "friend"
The last novella is a real tearjerker, an reminded me of my grandparents, how my grandmother died first, and my grandfather died just 8 weeks later of what we all considered a broken heart. In the relationship portrayed in this novella the woman dies first and the man is left to find her. The way he tends to her is heartbreaking but I believe so true of that generation where marriages were for like and not until someone better came along to have an affair with. You sensed their true love and deep respect for each other. You also feel the desolation in the man as the ambulance takes the body of his wife away. I loved how he accepted that her spirit had left already and that the body left behind was just a shell but even so he tended to that body shell so his wife would not have been embarrassed by the state her body was when she died.
I will definitely be looking out for more novellas and full length books by this author.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)