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Reviewed by Danita Dyess for Readers' Favorite
“Why She Left Us” by David Dennis is comprised of the diary pages of five people and five different accounts of the times leading to September 1985. The characters’ memories provide the basis for this romantic fiction. Monica, an 18-year old self-described psychopath, alone with her dismal thoughts, can relate to Betsy’s fate. Aunt Lucille is a 40-year old lonely woman trying to appear cheerful after everything that has happened. Ellen is a wheelchair-bound female still stuck on her mind-blowing experiences with Wayne Brown, the Bandanna wearing stud who supplied her with weed and meth on Memorial Day weekend. Then, there is Carl, Betsy’s boyfriend who wants to get married. And finally, Betsy – she was the one that made the horrible decision that forever changed the lives of the five people closest to her.
The cover is apt. The division of the book into cycles was helpful. Initially, I didn’t like the cryptic diary format; I was impatient. But I kept reading and the storyline became clearer. My opinion totally changed and I wanted to meet the author and learn what prompted this story. I was drawn to Ellen. Maybe it was her adolescent, larger-than-life account of events that functions as an overcompensation for her handicap. The pace was slow but conjured strong visual images and high drama. “Why She Left Us” is highly recommended.