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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Pause is a contemporary women’s fiction novel written by Sara Stamey. Lindsey delights in being free of her abusive and rage-driven husband and is justly proud of her still-hot-at-52 body. The bungalow she shares with her two cats is an endless source of comfort and strength, and it keeps her going even with the somewhat soul-deadening job as a medical transcriber at the local hospital. Lindsey lived for the damp exhilaration that was found by riding her bike through the park on her way to work. So much so in fact, that she was often a minute or two late, as she would be that morning. Still, her transcription speed and accuracy were top-rated, and her boss was apt to look the other way on the tardiness issue. Still, something was missing. Or was it? There was that dream she had the other night -- it had seemed so real, she was 23 once more and as she spun giddily in the yard of the cottage in the cedar grove, she heard his chuckle once more, a golden summer boy standing there watching her. Then the dream morphed crazily into a nightmare pastiche featuring the demonic head of her ex.
While not the targeted audience, I swiftly found myself enraptured by Lindsey’s environment, determination, and lifestyle. Suddenly the damp chill and rare breaks of sun seemed to matter less as I vicariously rode along with Lindsey through her beloved parks and found myself hiking the many incredible mountain trails that make the Pacific Northwest so special. Stamey also has a deft and sensitive touch in dealing with abuse and the legacy that many children exposed to it in the parental home find following after them. I could feel the challenge for Lindsey in breaking up with Nick, who was good except when he was not, and I appreciated her bravery and instinct for survival in finally making that break. The author revisits that issue in the sections that deal with Lindsey’s parents, who are still embroiled in their passion and disappointment with each other, and one’s heart cannot help but break as you watch Lindsey’s mom become ever more diminished with every bellow of rage. Stamey’s plot is breezy, her treatment of Lindsey’s romances work marvelously, and her book is incredibly hard to put down. Her characters are real people you come to care about -- except for Nick. I had a grand time reading Pause and am still considering a move to the Pacific Northwest as a result of this book. It’s most highly recommended.