TEN DAYS IN PARADISE by Linda Abbott




AS DESCRIBED ON AMAZON:

Vacationing on beautiful Sanibel Island off Florida's Gulf Coast, Ellen Bennett has never felt so guilty--or more alive.
This wasn't the way things were supposed to turn out. The 45-year-old successful career woman, wife and mother traveled to the island paradise for solitude and a much-needed break from her family. But a chance encounter with a fellow traveler sparks a powerful attraction, forcing Ellen to make a decision that could change her life forever.
Against an idyllic backdrop of white sand beaches, azure water and lush palms, Ellen struggles with her faith and tries to subdue a firestorm of emotions. David, the father of three young children, confronts the fault lines in his own marriage that lead to a stunning revelation.
Their relationship unfolds as David's family gathers on Sanibel to celebrate his parents' 50th wedding anniversary. Tensions are running high. David's mother is worried about her husband's strange behavior and inexplicable memory lapses. His sisters, Julia, an over-achieving corporate exec, and Maggie, a hard-partying renegade who just announced she's gay and leaving her husband, haven't spoken for months.
On the island, a small congregation battles to save a beloved seaside chapel to make room for a lavish oceanfront mansion. Ellen takes up the cause when she meets 76-year-old Liz Taylor, a vivacious widow with a sparkling wit and a secret passion of her own.
A compelling and heartfelt novel, Ten Days In Paradise masterfully explores the inner landscapes of marriage and family relationships.






Paradise? Don't Let the cover fool you. No one is free from worries here....

A beautiful setting. Intricately woven relationships. Some brazenly real family dynamics. Sinners. Yes, sinners(arent' we all?). It seemed nearly every character battled a demon, an ethical dilemma, or a life-changing decision. Interesting and hateable, with their infidelity and secrets, I found it hard to sympathize with the two main characters, and I didn't want to relate to them. I didn't want to believe it's that simple to trip and fall into a moral quagmire. People don't just run off on vacation alone and fall into the arms of a stranger when their marriage is rocky, do they? Men don't fall in love with another woman within days of meeting her while on a family vacation with their wife and children, right? Well, maybe they do. That makes me uncomfortable. You might find it troublesome, too. Sometimes a book brings you out of your comfort zone and makes you ask, 'why?' It's not your everyday love story with the expected happily ever after. The book shows different types of love between father/daughter, brother/sister, and even love of faith and humanity. At certain points, I found myself in tears. It's gritty darkness and flawed characters camouflaged with an island paradise backdrop. It's a tender fifty-year love story enmeshed in the tragedies of its offspring. What is unique about this book is that I was rooting for the main characters NOT to get together the whole time. I wanted a revelation, a change of mind and heart. I wanted them to be better people, but they weren't. They were human. So, even though I couldn't condone their actions or want them to be together, I was still hoping for them to find an acceptable happily ever after in their separate lives. The story left me with a lot of questions. I have to wonder if there is a sequel in the works to sew up lives interrupted and give some closure. I would read it. I want to know if these characters changed, grew, became less selfish, gained internal peace, or found happiness. 

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