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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Ignite: The Terrible Love Memoirs: Book 1 by Marie A. Wishert is a compelling work of women's fiction about questions of personal truth. The main character is young Ruby Carlson who lives life on her whims for the most part, but she may be having issues about who she is and what she wants out of life. She reached her goals, but is she really happy? Has she missed out on life by following a path that served her well but wasn't as satisfying as it should be? Growing up, she did all the right things, including financial freedom, but she sort of lost her carefree instincts along the way. She had to shift gears toward unplanned motherhood and being a breadwinner, thus putting her unconventional personality in the backseat. She had no choice but to take on the responsibilities of an "average" wife and mother. As time goes by, Ruby finds a semblance of satisfaction, but her mask conceals her inner truth--she hasn't found the freedom she'd always longed for, and it's now rubbing against her passionate nature; now resurfacing and yearning to fully realize itself.
Wishert has created a completely relatable character in Ruby. Told in the first-person POV, we open with Ruby in a coffee shop and immediately get inside her head and heart. As you read, you really begin to feel like you know this woman and easily slip into her mindset as it echoes the thoughts and feelings of many women just like her. In seeking monetary security, she somehow lost some of herself and who she was inside. Like so many strong women who do the right thing, Ruby realizes time is short and does she have anything left over for herself? This story is smart and moving, and will have you pondering Ruby's life, questions, and choices--maybe even your own. The writing is interesting and engaging, with some really wrenching and tense moments, but leads to a satisfying conclusion. If you enjoy emotional, powerful narratives that pull you in and hold you for the duration, you will love Ignite: The Terrible Love Memoirs: Book 1 by Marie A. Wishert.