Book Description

The Other Side of Heartache by Sarah Jo Smith

The Indie Book of the Day for 12th of June, 2013!

Genre: Literary, Contemporary

Grace’s well-ordered world shatters when she loses her unborn child and her mother within a few months. Summoned to her childhood home to sort through Penny’s belongings, the timing couldn’t be worse. Grieving over her losses and exhausted from a demanding teaching schedule, she worries that her marriage is collapsing under the pressure. While packing her mother’s closet, Grace discovers a box filled with mysterious keepsakes and old diaries written in Penny’s hand and takes them home. After reading pages filled with typical musings of a teenage girl from a generation ago, she stumbles upon a dark secret and is devastated to learn that what she believed her whole life about her family was based on lies.

As Grace digs beneath the Rose family tree, she unearths more than one skeleton buried there. All the while, she must endure the wrath of her grandmother, Eleanor, who is determined to block her efforts to find out what happened when Penny was seventeen, as well as the underlying cause of her premature death. Yet Eleanor harbors a well-kept secret of her own, one more deceitful and calculating than Penny’s sin. Grace’s journey through an emotional labyrinth of passion, shame, and manipulation not only leads to more shocking revelations but also changes the course she had mapped for her life. 

Through a story told in alternating voices between the past and present where old morals and double standards from the historical 1950s and ‘60s clash with modern day values, Grace must decide if it’s worth taking an unforeseen risk to reaffirm her belief in the power of love. BOOK GROUP GUIDE INCLUDED.

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Book Insight

  • File Size: 587 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sarah Jo Smith; 1 edition (January 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled

Read Sample

I’ve had a book in my hands since my grandmother Rosie taught me to read when I was five years old. Victorian literature was one of my favorite areas of study, although I’m a big fan of American writers such as Willa Cather, Anne Tyler, Elizabeth Berg, and Barbara Kingsolver. Two books that have influenced me greatly are To Kill A Mockingbird and Beloved.

Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” The Other Side of Heartache is that book from me. This is a story that lodged in my heart for several years until I knew it had to be told and shared with women who ever had to make a difficult choice, or knew someone who did.

I was born in Los Angeles and raised in a high desert town in southern California. I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from California Lutheran University, a single subject teaching credential in English, and a master’s degree in education from Santa Clara University. I’ve been a frequent contributor of stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I have three adult children, one biological and two adopted (although I can never remember which two) and I live in Bend, Oregon with my husband of thirty-two years. I’m hard at work on my second novel.

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