Ashes of Life by Erica Lucke Dean with Laura M. Kolar – Review

 

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Married for just three months, Alex Barrett is stunned when her husband, David, dies in a tragic accident. And the absolute last thing the pregnant young widow wants is to take on responsibility for his teenage daughter, Maddie. Reeling from loss, Alex struggles to deal with her grief and her troubled stepdaughter, but one question haunts her: why was David with his ex-wife when he died?

All Maddie Barrett wanted was for her parents to get back together, but an icy road took that dream away. Afterward, Maddie is riddled with guilt that she can’t share with anyone. Feeling angry and alone, she lays all the blame on Alex.

Alex and Maddie must find a way to move past their pain—shared, yet separate. Thrown together in an untenable arrangement, they fight through a frozen landscape of sorrow and redemption while redefining love, forgiveness, and family.

The Authors –
Erica Lucke Dean: After walking away from her career as a business banker to pursue writing full-time, Erica Lucke Dean moved from the hustle and bustle of the big city to a small tourist town in the North Georgia Mountains, where she lives in a 90-year-old haunted farmhouse with her workaholic husband, her 180 lb lap dog, and at least one ghost. When she’s not writing or tending to her collection of crazy chickens and diabolical ducks, she’s either reading bad fan fiction or singing karaoke in the local pub. Much like the main character in her first book, To Katie With Love, Erica is a magnet for disaster and has been known to trip on air while walking across flat surfaces. How she’s managed to survive this long is one of life’s great mysteries.
Laura M. Kolar: Laura M. Kolar lives with her husband and daughter in a one-stop-light town in northern-lower Michigan. Though she didn’t discover her love of books until she turned thirty, as a self-declared hopeless romantic, she has spent the past few years reading and writing stories with mostly happy endings. If she’s not at her day-job or with her family, you will find her sipping a cup of chai latte while sitting in her favorite rocking chair, hunched over her laptop writing or spending entirely too much time on Twitter.

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My Review – 

First of all, the cover of the book is beautiful. It leads you to think that the book will center around a ballerina, but dance only plays a small part. The story centers on life.

Ashes of Life is such an appropriate title and quite aptly describes the story. There is so much emotion in the story that I’m surprised the pages can contain the story. Life doesn’t always work out the way we carefully plan it and this is the premise for the story. While we are making plans, life happens and it is how we handle the twists and turns that will make or break us.

The main characters, Alex and Maddie quickly learn how life can turn on a dime and they are both left floundering when the one person who is the glue in their lives, is taken from them. We follow their ups and downs, and trials in learning how to become a mother/daughter unit amid teenage hormones and pregnancy hormones.

Ashes will have you crying one moment and laughing the next. The story was very well written and I really enjoyed reading it. Although the story ended at a good point, I was nowhere near ready to let go of the characters.

I am giving Ashes of Life five stars.

Available on Amazon 
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