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Reviewed by Michael McManus for Readers' Favorite
Jake is a starry-eyed adolescent, who is so much in love with Erika that he cannot see that they are drifting apart. He is caught up with school and work and planning a life in their little Illinois town, with its bandstand park and its quaintly little Main Street. Erika, who loves him dearly and has done so since they were very young, has other plans. As a talented musician, she has the opportunity to go to the big town and participate in the excitement and glamour of life in Chicago. Try as she might, she finds Jake resisting a move with her out of his idyllic surroundings and the safe harbor of their little hamlet. Jake’s grandmother, Sara, who has raised him since his mother died in a car accident when he was a toddler, has doubts about Erika’s sincerity. Having never liked the girl, Sara believes it is best for Jake to forget her and move on with his life. Conflict arises between Jake and Sara over their disconnect about Erika and Jake’s future together, but an undercurrent of deception and the development of unexpected circumstances change their lives far more than a break-up with a first love.
“Letting Go” by Virginia C. Foley is written in the first person from the point of view of two of the characters in the book, Jake and his grandmother, Sara. By shifting focus from one character’s perspective to the other, she builds drama, as she works through the tensions that each is feeling from the events that are detailed in the story. I really like this technique. It adds depth to the story that would not have been there if it were narrated by a single voice. I happily recommend this story. The characters are real. The dialog is believable and the situations are current and familiar.