#Book #Review by @RonovanWries of If Only by @NormaBudden

If Only Norma Budden Book CoverIf Only explores the results a revelation of a secret has on the lives of so many people that I don’t even know if the author, Norma Budden, realizes what she’s done. When 16-year-old Demi discovered she was pregnant, she made a choice. Sixteen years later, Demi Glenn, wife and mother of two, contacts the child’s father, private investigator David Alexander, as he is preparing to go on a family outing with his wife and twin daughters. Her reason for contacting David: she has this unexplainable feeling that his baby girl he never knew of, that she gave up for adoption, needs to be found.

What happens in the span of a few hours is real and surreal at the same time. You don’t want to believe what happens but you know it can happen. Through it all you want Renee, the 16-year-old girl who never felt a part of her family’s world, to be found and meet the family she never knew and the siblings she always wanted.

Being a father, I identify with David. I am a David. As I read the book I wanted to stop reading. At times, I needed to stop reading, but I agreed to read and I continued. Was the writing and story that bad? No, they were that good. They nailed the feelings and thoughts perfectly.

I am a David. As an amnesiac, there are memories I don’t normally have access to, feelings buried deep for whatever reason. Protection? As I read If Only, feelings came rushing to me, feelings I hope I forget, but feelings I need to recall, at times. That’s how powerful this story is for me.

Renee is just like her parents, like her father, like David. There is a connection between these two that plays out in the story; it is pivotal to it all. If not for that connection and how it is handled the story wouldn’t be what it is.

Lying in a hospital over a year ago, I wanted to die or, perhaps, I was in a world that I was so confused about I didn’t want to be there. I was visited by a face, a girl’s face and a girl’s voice. I came home, and even though memories are not there, my own investigation made discoveries. Here I am being as productive as I can be.

If Only by Norma Budden brings all of that back to me and more. Isn’t that what a book should do? Shouldn’t a book make you look at the world in a new way, a way to better understand, a way to step back and look at yourself?

Of all the books I’ve read this past year, even books I’ve written, If Only is possibly closer to elements of my own life than anything I could ever write.

I met Norma through an author and mutual friend, a former investigator. Just as an investigator friend of David’s helped him, this friend helped two people come together so one story could bring a man to mourn and rejoice, yet pray all is forgotten at the same time. I wonder how many times I’ve done that. How many times I’ve relived moments to thankfully forget them and then be reminded again and again.

I thank Norma Budden for honoring me with reading her book in advance of its release. As of the reading of this book, of all I’ve read so far this past year, this is now my top pick.

Amazon: KindleRonovan Writes Book Review of if Only

Author Site: NormasBooks.com

Genre: Drama, Paranormal, Adult, Young Adult

Character Believability–5
Flow and Pace –5
Reader Engagement– 5
Reader Enrichment–5
Reader Enjoyment–5
Review Rating Results–5

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