Book Review: Between You & Me

Shunning.  The fear of ostracism is a powerful instrument of control and the common denominator in the lives of Caleb Stoltz and Dr. Reese Powell.  Susan Wiggs brilliantly weaves together the dichotomy and similarity of their life experiences in Between You & Me.

Caleb longs to experience the world and escape his Amish father’s abuse.  Reese has marched to her brilliant parents’ drums.  How do they assert their independence and chart their own paths?

Caleb is drawn back into the Amish life after his brother and sister-in-law are murdered.  He honors his brother’s dying wish to become the guardian for his niece and nephew.  Caleb is powerfully motivated to shield Hannah and Jonah from their grandfather Asa’s rage and abuse.

Susan Wiggs

Their world is rocked when carefree Jonah’s arm is mauled in a farming accident.  Caleb is compelled to defy Asa to save Jonah’s life and guide him through the rehabilitation process.  Dr. Powell is a member of the medical team in the emergency room where everyone’s destiny is altered

Reese is the trophy child of a dynasty of pioneering physicians.  Her life has been dictated by her parents’ expectations of achievement and career success.  She’s been conditioned to mute her dreams and voice.

Susan and Elizabeth Wiggs. Between You & Me is dedicated to Susan’s daughter Elizabeth.

Reese’s life is one of privilege, housekeepers, butlers, and boarding schools.  Caleb’s life is devoid of electricity, phones, and indoor plumbing.  Yet, they are on parallel paths to assert their independence with the attendant risk of being shunned by their parents.  They share an ethic of hard work, integrity, compassion, empathy, and unconditional love.

Between You & Me is compelling and riveting.  I couldn’t put it down and didn’t want the story to end.  It is an epic story about the triumph of love.

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