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An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of  400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger.  Enjoy ARCs and new releases. 




What We Leave Behind

By: Rochelle B. Weinstein 


Publisher: Audible Studios

Publication Date: 6/14/2016 

Format: Audible

My Rating: 5 Stars


Having had the pleasure of reading talented Rochelle B. Weinstein’s latest (2016) Where We Fall landing on my Top Books of 2016 List, an instant fan of this South Florida author.

I found myself quickly searching for her previous books, discovering her debut, WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND, now available in audio (6/14/16) narrated by Casey Turner and also available in e-book, and paperback. The paperback and audio make a nice combo; you will want to bookmark many quotes.

Powerful, and emotional, a poignant portrayal of love in its many forms, this heart wrenching novel will resonate with any woman who has questioned her past and wondered what could have been. Broken out in three parts we follow Jessica's life journey.

Part One 1972-1988 “The heart that truly loves never forgets.” - Proverb

Weinstein takes readers on an incredible journey of Jessica Parker, a young fifteen year old girl (almost sixteen) to adulthood. From first love, powerful emotions, grief, tragedy, love, and loss. The what ifs. The moments which change our lives, and the things we leave behind, but not forgotten.

Jessica resides with her single mom, after the death of her father. Her mom works at the hospital and she sets out to try and find her mom a doctor. She is still grieving for her father; however, pretends to be strong.

While visiting the hospital Jessica meets 22-yr-old Harvard medical student, Jonas Levy. She is infatuated. Jonas’ father, Adam is dying of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He is a big name in the music and film business. An impressive man and she becomes close with the family.

She learns so much from Jonas; however, nothing prepares her for the splattering of emotions he left her, to sort out. Good things would soon end, when Emily was returning from Italy and he would return to Boston. First loves. Painful and heart-breaking.

“And the good-bye makes the journey harder still.”—Cat Stevens “O Very Young”

She falls for him, even though Jonas has a girlfriend. However, once Adam dies, Jonas abruptly tells her not to come to the funeral, and they cannot see one another again. She is devastated.

Can she free herself from the past in order to move forward?

Part Two 1994-2011 “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." —Albert Schweitzer

Life moves on and she makes her way to film school and a job as a music supervisor with the famous Hollywood producer Marty Tauber at SixthSense, in Los Angeles. She is shocked by the connection to Adam. A protégé?

She struggles to allow anyone get close. She wanted to love again and be happy. It had been six years since her first love. Now her boss, Marty.

Finally, they start dating and marry. SixthSense was plastered across most every entertainment trade magazine. She was an expert in the field of music—the authority to hit songs and doors opened. She was finding fulfillment with her career, husband and child.

She finds it difficult to rely on others. If she needed them, she fears they will leave. Then a tragedy. A loss.

Her mother once told her that decisions were difficult because by making a choice, we’re forced to give up something. But it is also about re-embracing the things you gave up. And it’s learning that there are some things, and some people, you can’t live without. Or can you?

Part Three 2001-2002 “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is part of ourselves; we must die to one life, before we can enter into another.” — Anatole France

Jessica fears of getting close, and having them leave. Even though lost, there is a spirit that moves and encircles and leads to a clearer path. Who had stolen her strength and dignity? The man who would make it impossible for love to be uncomplicated.

Soon she begins questioning her life, as a wife, companion, mother. Not trusting enough. Her husband seemed to want more, and she wanted less. It was easier to pretend that everything would be OK. No one wants to see something that they do not want to believe is there.

Then another shocker phone call. An explosive secret forces her to reconnect with Jonas. She had given herself to Marty, and trust does not come easy to her, from losing her father at a young age and then Jonas. The what ifs?

Haunted by the past and the guilt she still feels of her dad’s death. Then more guilt from her other hidden secret. Why couldn’t she be more like her mother who had overcome great adversity in her life. Her strength overshadowed any sign of weakness.

A simple memory could take her back. Thrust into a modern day moral and ethical dilemma, Jessica must face the pain of her past, or lose everything she holds dear.

She and her husband are separated by lies and miles that buried them from view. Now she has to choose between her husband and the man she always considered the love of her life. Will she make the right decision? 

“Sometimes you can’t always see love. You have to trust it is there. Learning the difference between real love and fairy tales.”

What a debut! Ongoing themes, thought-provoking, and beautiful metaphors! With Weinstein’s vast music background from LA to Miami, as well as her gift of prose, well-developed characters, and human insights, makes for a gripping and absorbing tale.

In addition to being a talented author, a genuine person, she definitely shares my love of nature-and familiar places-Inspiring! Love her book covers. I think she has a hidden degree in psychology.

“What makes a great song and great film? That passion, that marriage between the melody and the story? Words tell a story. As in filmmaking, a tremendous undertaking from conception to premier. All parts are critical and as long as every person is as ardent and industrious with their craft to equal stellar.”

As our personal relationships: Trust, life, marriage. Everyone has to do their part to make a success. A mix of domestic suspense, contemporary, psychological, and romance.

For fans of Liane Moriarty, T. Greenwood, Lisa Genova, Amy Hatvany, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Paula Treick DeBoard, Karen White and Diane Chamberlain.

Since I have read the third book, currently reading her second book, The Mourning After . Looking forward to her fourth book, Somebody's Daughter, plus hear rumors she is working on her fifth novel, a love story based in the Florida Keys (always my familiar favorite settings-can't wait). An author to follow!



Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!What-We-Leave-Behind/cmoa/5779de430cf23a71a1610f1d