As she drives down Deep Haven's snowy road, Noelle has a collision which erases her memory, the memory of her twenty-five year marriage to Eli, their children, or the tragedy that ripped their family apart. As she slowly regain s her memory, she discovers that her hopes and dreams for the idyllic life were not her reality at all. Is it possible to redo and renew a broken marriage? With warmth and humor follow Noelle's journey to find herself and perhaps have a new chance at an old love.
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Customer Reviews for The Shadow of Your Smile - eBook
Noelle and Eli's marriage is on the skids, thanks to a difficult period filled with grief over the murder of their daughter. Now, they're sleeping in separate rooms and each one has secrets that would be devastating if they were brought to light. To make things even worse, Noelle develops amnesia after a severe blow to the head, and the past 25 years of her life have suddenly disappeared. Noelle and Eli must now work together to piece their lives back together, and decide whether or not their marriage is worth saving.
Emma Nelson wants nothing more than to recapture the song of her heart. She feels as though it should've been her and not Kelsey that met the end of a shooter's bullet. Since then, playing the music that she and Kelsey created together just isn't the same anymore. If only she could capture the lyrics, the song that keeps running through her head would be complete. It will take a trip back home to Deep Haven, as well as the help of a special friend, to find what's she's been missing all along.
Once again, Susan May Warren has created a masterpiece of a book wrought with deep emotions and personal struggles. Those suffering through a period of grief or those who have strayed from their first love (both literally and spiritually) can find hope in the pages of this novel. The Shadow of Your Smile is not a book to rush through reading, but rather, one that is worth the time it takes to savor the wisdom contained within. Highly Recommended!
The Shadow of Your Smile is the fifth book in the Deep Haven Series by Susan May Warren. It’s a great inspiring story that readers will love. You don’t have to read the series in order… But it’s nice if you do!
As a prolific reader, I am at the disadvantage of being thoroughly familiar with the plot line of an amnesiac wife who re-falls in love with her husband. Off the top of my head, I can think of two other books I have read in the past three months which covered the same territory.
This book has little to distinguish it from the others I have read. It is Christian, fairly clean, deals with adult themes (divorce, death of a child, infidelity, financial issues, etc.), throws in an emotional risk or two, and provided me with about three hours of entertainment.
I enjoyed it as something new to read. The story did not really speak to me, but I'd recommend it to someone else looking for something interesting enough to wile away the time and clean enough to avoid blushing.
Imagine losing all memory of the past 25 years of your life. In your mind, you are a college student studying to begin a career. Yet you find yourself living in the body of a middle-aged woman and in the home of a man who claims to be your husband and with two grown children you cannot remember raising.
This is Noelle’s story as invented by author Susan May Warren in her new book, "The Shadow of Your Smile," book 5 in the "Deep Haven" series.
I loved reading this book and will be watching for the next one in this series, soon to be released. "The Shadow of Your Smile" isn’t your typical Christian romance. The primary couple in the story has been married for nearly 25 years. But this marriage has been touched by tragedy and the family is falling apart. The second tragedy, the one resulting in Noelle’s amnesia, forces everyone involved to reevaluate decisions they’ve been making, to consider what they really want out of life—and what God may want for them. It’s a story of faith, commitment, marriage, family, grief, endurance, and joy. It’s a story of fresh starts and forgiveness. It’s one I’m happy to recommend.
I earned my copy of this book by participating in Tyndale House Publisher’s summer reading program.
I fell in love with Susan May Warren's Deep Haven series last year and I was excited to read a new addition to this series, "The Shadow of Your Smile." Noelle remembers nothing of her current life - her home, her husband, her family, nothing and not only that, but it is not the life she would have ever dreamed she's have. However she tries to remember and settle into the life that is supposedly hers. Noelle discovers some things along the way that make her question whether it is time to move on or to stick with the marriage and her family. This is a great book to read! It is very realistic and I am sure that many individuals will be able to connect with Noelle and the other characters throughout the book. There is humor mixed in as well as moments that will tug at your heartstrings making this an excellent book that you will not want to put down once you start reading! So sit back, relax and escape to Deep Haven and the lives of the individuals that you will meet and fall in love with.
Buried memories always seem to float to the surface struggling to be acknowledged.
Noelle has come to a crossroad in her life. She is quite unsure of the pending outcome of her decisions.
Eli in his frozen icehouse haven that at times brought loneliness and thoughts of his present struggles, he quietly wonders what the future holds.
When an accident leaves Noelle without recall of the past 25 years of her marriage and life with Eli, her family struggles to cope as Noelle attempts to regain the life that was taken from her. Despite overwhelming odds is it possible to recapture what was once valid or will the past be buried forever in the snowy backdrop of Deep Haven?
Envy, heartbreak, pain and romance blend well to create this touching novel. Character development was strong, dialogue was easy to keep up with, and here at the start of summer I could just feel the snow and ice crunching under my boots and it was refreshing! I have read novels similar to this one in storyline before but was surprised at how it held my attention throughout as I connected with the characters and heard their conversations and felt what they did. I found the overall message to be inspiring and the novel challenged my faith. I would recommend this entertaining novel to others.
Noelle witnesses a crime, has an accident and ends up with amnesia. She doesn't remember the last 25 years of her life- her failing marriage, her kids, the tragedy in their family. Both husband and wife are surprised at things they learn about each other. They are given a chance to find their love again. A subplot revolves around Noelle's son, Kyle, and a friend's daughter, Emma. For a small town, a lot seems to be going on in Deep Haven.
Though this is the fifth book in the Deep Haven series, it can be read as a standalone novel. The storyline was good and wrapped up nicely. I did feel that the family had everything going against them but for the most part, they overcame their struggles in the end.
I love coming back to Deep Haven, and I don't even like snow! :)
Noelle & Eli Hueston have been married for many years, but the last few have been, well, worse than routine. Struggling already, things were compounded by the death of their only daughter, and at the point we meet them, they have genuinely lost their way. The book begins with Noelle attempting to evade a robbery when she slips and falls on a patch of ice and suffers a head injury, which in turn causes some pretty serious amnesia. She doesn't remember being married or her children, she definitely doesn't remember her daughter Kelsey, and she thinks she is in college -she is very upset that her (deceased) parents won't come visit her in the hospital! You can imagine the confusion this causes, as the amnesia lasts for some time.
There are also several great "sub"-story, one that includes her oldest son & Kelsey's best friend, and I really enjoyed how they were all tied together in the end. This book deals with a number of serious issues and still manages to retain a sense of humor and emotional pull, all without being overdone. Well played, Susan May Warren!
Noelle is ready to give up on her marriage after tragedy has struck her family and their small town. But an accident that leaves her with more than just a little amnesia, causes Noelle to see her life through new eyes. Will she like what she sees or will she want to run away from what she has found. Will her husband and her family be able to find true forgiveness and love? Will others affected by the same tragedy find their own forgiveness and love? Will they be able to move on with their lives and find a new normal in the aftermath? The story of The Shadow of Your Smile is one of tragedy and hope, despair and forgiveness. Warren successfully weaved a brilliant story that took a look at all the what-if’s of loosing a child, a spouse, forgetting one’s life, and true love. This is definitely one of my favorite books. I will note that this is book 5 in the series about Deep Haven. While this was the first book in the series that I read, and the first of Warren’s books, it does well as a stand alone book. I will mention that it took me about 1/3 of the book to get all the characters straight, but since the other books in the series are about various people in the town, that may or may not help in reading this book. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Imagine you wake up to find yourself in a hospital room with the memories of 25 years of your life just missing, gone, kaput. In your mind you are a college student at the beginning of your life ready to pursue your dreams and make a difference. You prefer diet Coke to coffee and want your parents to come to the hospital to see you, not this 50 year old stranger who keeps holding your hand telling you he is your husband. And let’s just say that the shock of seeing your reflection in the mirror is a bit jarring. This is the predicament of Noelle Hueston, the main character in The Shadow of Your Smile by Susan May Warren. Only Noelle isn’t a college student, she is a married woman with children and a husband and some tough memories that she cannot recall.
The struggling marriage of Noelle and her husband Eli is simply forgotten by Noelle after suffering an accident where her head is hit incredibly hard causing her to lose all memories from the last 25 years. So while she is struggling to remember her past and the people closest to her, she also discovers that things have not turned out for her as she thought they would. She was an aspiring artist that all but gave up her dreams for others and she feels a bit disappointed to see what her 40-something self did with her life in comparison to what her 20-something self thought she would be doing. What a fascinating perspective for her to see. She’s not too happy with her waist size either. (But then again, who is?) Her husband Eli seeks to have a brand new start with this new wife who doesn’t remember all the heartache of their past and wants to build forward from there. They both learn though that it’s impossible to divorce our past from our present, it’s what grows us and something we need to make peace with in order to move forward. It cannot be ignored. There are some other family dynamic stuff that comes into play with the sons that shows some pretty realistic moments, I believe- people placing blame, the importance of honesty and forgiveness. Very well done here.
I thought the pacing of the novel was good, enjoyed the character development and storyline. I actually thought the ending was good, realistic, although I might say that part felt a little rushed. Overall, I enjoyed what this novel explored, the whole idea of are you happy where you are, is it what you imagined and if not, what can you do to change it? I think we all have that question in our mind to a certain extent. Is my life really what I pictured it would be? My answer is no, it’s not, but I think this alternate route, personally, is better than what I had planned.
I was graciously provided a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
There is a lot of tragedy in this book. The book opens with Noelle Hueston's running from a Murder robbery. She takes a terrible fall and ends up with a head injury and amnesia. She doesn't know her son's Kirby or Kyle or her husband Eli. Three years ago there was another robbery and a double murder...Eli and Noelle 17 year old daughter Kelsey, and Kelsy's best friends Dad is also killed. The toll of this puts a big strain on their twenty-five year marriage. So when Noelle doesn't remember them he makes a decision not to tell her about Kelsey. There is so much action in this book that I read this in one day! You need to get to the end to find out the answers, much is answered, but I still have a few unanswered. The book will want to make you move to Deep Haven MN, and embrace this wonderful God loving people. I recommend this awesome read!
I was provided with an e-book by Tyndale House Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.
GENRE: CONTEMPORARY PUBLISHER: TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLICATION DATE: DECEMBER 16, 2012 RATING: 8 OUT OF 10 - VERY GOOD
PROS: Part of a series but each novel is a standalone; made me care enough about the characters that I cried during flashback scenes; unputdownable!
CONS: There was a lot of drama going on for such a small, seemingly peaceful town; it seemed like this family had everything possibly going against them.
Following a trauma that recently rocked their family, Eli and Noelle's marriage is on the rocks. Eli has no idea what his wife gets up to when he's out of the house, and now that he's a retired cop he spends most of his time ice-fishing in order to avoid his family. Noelle is on the brink of making a decision that could tear her family apart when she's involved in an accident that causes her to forget the last twenty-five years of her life. She wakes up in a hospital bed thinking she's still at college, and she has no idea who Eli is and no recollection of their marriage or children. Eli realises that God has given him a second chance, the opportunity to get his marriage back on track. But can he make Noelle fall in love with him again before she figures out why their marriage went south in the first place?
I make no secret of the fact that my guilty pleasure when it comes to novels is amnesia plots. Amnesia, snowbound and babies have to be my favourite romantic plot devices; but The Shadow of Your Smile isn't exactly a romance novel. While Eli gets the chance to reromance his wife, this book also contains the stories of how Noelle's family members and friends react to her amnesia; how it brings some of them together and pushes others apart. This novel reminded me of a modern day family saga, a Christian version of a Barbara Delinsky novel, where the reactions of family, friends and an entire town are detailed in relation to a dramatic event. In The Shadow of Your Smile we not only witness how Eli and Noelle come to reconcile their relationship, but also how their son, Kyle, a new cop, reacts to the incident that caused his mother's amnesia and his relationship with his sister's best friend, Emma. Emma's mother is also heavily involved in the events in this book, as not only Noelle's best friend but in her dangerously close relationship to Eli.
I wasn't sure whether I'd enjoy reading about a couple whose marriage had deteriorated after twenty-five years. I'm getting married in less than six months and I remember my experience of reading the first few chapters of Rob Parson's The Sixty Minute Marriage, where I bawled to my fiancé about how there were all of these horrible things that could go wrong with our marriage. Sometimes you're just not in the right frame of mind for reading about a topic close to your heart. But in this case, I was able to enjoy The Shadow of Your Smile without panicking about the "What Ifs?" presented in the novel. While this book deals with a lot of tough topics, it's also very easy to read. The problems that the characters encounter are very realistic ones and the characters are so down-to-earth and normal that they could be your next-door-neighbours. This was my first experience with the Deep Haven series but the town really came alive to me in this book and I think that the setting of this novel will make readers feel at home, whether this is the first book in the series that they've read or the sixth.
That said, I did feel a bit disorientated when I first began reading The Shadow of Your Smile. It was as if I'd been dropped right into the middle of Deep Haven and Eli and Noelle's lives. It took a bit of adjusting to get used to all of the relationships and histories between the characters, and there were incidents in Eli and Noelle's lives that were vaguely mentioned several times and it took me a while to finally figure out what had happened to push them apart. I actually went online and looked up the other Deep Haven novels to see whether there had been a previous novel about this family and whether I was missing some important details about their lives. When I realised that all of the other books focused on completely different characters I started to wonder whether Susan had deliberately made The Shadow of Your Smile disorientating for the reader in order to make them sympathise with Noelle's amnesia. To be honest, I was as confused as Noelle was in the opening chapters of the novel, and this made reading the book an even more interesting experience. As I figured out the missing pieces of Noelle's life, so did Noelle. To any readers of the novel who may be confused to begin with, I urge you not to give up - this book is definitely worth all of the figuring out that you have to do!
However, there were some sections of the book that I didn't find quite so compelling. While Kyle and Emma's romance was sweet and endearing, it was also rather predictable. It was a nice side-story but as much as I tried, I never could really relate to Emma. I also had an issue with the fact that Kyle and his and Emma's fathers were all police officers and quite strong, manly characters; at times it seemed as if the author was trying to make working in the police force seem especially noble. While there are flashbacks and comments from Eli that stress that he doesn't think that a career in the police is worth the harm is can bring to a family, at other times the book almost glamorized police work and placed it on a pedestal. I know a couple of police officers and do respect their work, but I got a bit tired of the fact that all of the main characters in the book who had jobs were police officers. And considering how small a town Deep Haven seemed to be, there always seemed to be a lot drama and crime taking place. While some of the events in the story were necessary to bring the plot to where it stood at the start of the novel, I couldn't help but wonder whether the crime rate in Deep Haven was entirely typical. It was one of those experiences where you're reading a book and find yourself wondering, "Could anything else possibly happen to these poor characters?"
Despite my misgivings with the level of drama in this book, Susan May Warren also made me truly care about her characters. I finished reading this book on Christmas Day and was dabbing at my tears as Eli remembered his daughter's accident. While this book had its flaws and didn't have that special something that pushed its rating up to a 9 or 10, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read. And while I will admit that this was an easy novel to breeze through in a couple of days, it had so much food for thought. It's not possible to come away from this novel without musing over some point or another. I will definitely be going back and reading more of the Deep Haven books, and encourage fans of family sagas and contemporary fiction to start with The Shadow of Your Smile and do the same.
My Foolish Heart (another book in the Deep Haven series) was my first introduction to Susan May Warren. I couldn't get enough of it. So I was thrilled when I learned that The Shadow of Your Smile was coming out. I was not disappointed!
Eli and Noelle's marriage is falling apart when Noelle is in a serious car accident. When she comes out of her coma, she thinks she is back in college . . . remembering neither her husband nor her three children nor anything that's happened in the last twenty years. It may be the second chance that Eli and Noelle desperately need.
Sounds pretty good, right?! Well, throw in a secondary plot (or really a second primary plot) featuring Eli and Noelle's son and a hometown girl running away from her past, and it's doubly good!
Warren weaves the two stories together beautifully. Since much of the tragedy in their lives is shared, it doesn't come off as two separate stories, but rather as two stories that are closely linked. Themes of forgiveness, faith, and second chances make this an emotional read. By the end, I was a complete mess . . . in the best way!
There's a part in the book describing a person's last minutes before death and they begin describing what is happening to them and say something along the lines of hearing the joy of heaven. That part of the book was not a major part of the storyline, but I got chills and could hear a song running through my head that made me think of the joy of heaven. It was just so realistic to me. Anything that can give me chills and actually HEAR something (that isn't there) is pretty awesome writing!
Susan May Warren does everything right with this book . . . the characters, the writing, the emotional punch. I wasn't ready for the book to end when it did. [5 stars]
Thanks to LitFuse Publicity, Tyndale House, and Net Galley for providing a free review copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.
What if you woke up in a hospital room. The last you remember, you were leaving college for the day. But the grizzly man across the room claims to be your husband. He says you have two boys, the youngest getting ready to graduate high school. And then the nurse makes you look in the mirror. Such was the world of Noelle Hueston, the result of a convenience store hold-up, where the robber had murdered the clerk. Noelle had managed to escape that deadly situation, but had slipped on ice, and hit her head. Now she had lost twenty-five years of her life. Noelle ultimately decides to let her “husband”, Eli, take her home. She slowly begins to piece together the missing years of her life. She had been an art student in college. Did she still paint? Her two sons, strangers. Could she learn to love them? Why was there an empty bedroom in their house? What had she been doing, returning from a city hours away during a snow storm? And why had Eli known nothing about her trip that day? And what about Eli? He is patient with her but she senses their lives had drifted apart. Eli finally decides to tell her about their daughter, Kelsey, murdered by by a young man in a robbery. Noelle, of course, has no emotional tie to the daughter but Eli is wracked with guilt. Eli had been the sheriff at the time. The killer was a man he had stopped but had let go on because he knew the kid, and trusted him. If Eli had checked in with the department, he would have found out that the kid was wanted. Noelle and Eli had dealt with their pain within themselves, in their own ways, and they had drifted apart. Noelle, unknown to Eli, had rented an artist studio. Eli had frequently secluded himself in his ice house, fishing. Noelle is now determined to make a new commitment to this man, to make this marriage work. Then the revelation that Eli has been spending way too much time at a widow's house hits her like a brick and she flees. She can't make this marriage work! She'll make a new life of her own, as an artist. Eli and deputy son Kyle realize that Noelle saw the murdering robber and he could be after her. They've got to find her before he does.
Warren says in an afterward note that she had had dreams … and then married, had four children, then began writing books. What if you could reset your life? What if you could keep parts of your life and cut out others? What would you do? Having read an article about a man who had fallen and lost memory of twenty-five years of his life, she began to explore the idea of starting over. Can broken relationships be healed over? Could a painful past now be worked through? Can love win out?
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is very thought provoking. The plot has a great combination of attempts at restoring romance and relationship, and a little suspense. The reader shares in the struggles of several people trying to deal with Kelsey's murder (including her friend who had actually been the one scheduled to work that day).
There is a discussion guide which would make this a great choice for reading groups.
I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
After twenty-five years of marriage, Noelle and Eli Hueston are ready to end their marriage. When an accident destroys part of Noelle's memory, she's stuck in years that happened during college. She can't remember her husband, her children, or even the tragedy that ripped her family apart. As she tries to regain her memory, she discovers more about the life she built in this tiny town of Deep Haven, and the man she built it with. Can she fall in love again with a man she can't even remember? Or will the secrets that she discovers destroy that possibility? Or is it possible, that erasing the past has given them a second chance at their marriage?
The Shadow of Your Smile is a heart-warming story that is sure to tug at your heart and force you to re-evaluate what you find most important in life.
Susan May Warren is well known for penning stories that are brimming with unique characters and vibrant plots. Somehow, this story is very different than her previous novels. Yes, it contains her trademark unique and spunky characters, but this plot's vibrancy is colored in such emotional colors that it's not her typical kind of story.
This story is hidden in layers as Susan May Warren maintains an excellent balance of moving the story forward while constantly exposing the past.The way she exposes the past is done in such as skillful manner that readers never feel bogged down with back-story--simply because it is essential to the entire story.
Despite the brokenness and mistakes this couple has made, readers can feel themselves rooting for this them, grinning as they find their way back, and standing in awe of a God who makes all things new.
In the past, Susan May Warren's characters have always been younger than the couple now in the spotlight of this novel. For her younger readers, who may find this to be a bit of a turn-off, she includes a younger couple in this novel as well. Their story and struggles are just as engaging as the main couple of this story.
I do have to say that I felt the romance between the younger couple happened a bit too soon (like way too soon). But I don't believe that will stop anyone from wanting them together.
The Shadow of Your Smile helps readers understand that true love is not something that just happens, but rather something that we must fight for and make happen. I also appreciate how she shows readers how deadly emotional attachments can be in destroying marriages as well.
If you enjoyed Gina Holmes' novel Dry As Rain, then you will definitely want to check this story out. I highly recommend The Shadow of Your Smile!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for Tyndale Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Noelle and Eli have been married for twenty five years, but that marriage is falling apart. What caused them to drift apart? Much of their trouble goes back to the death of a child and the horrors that brings. But, are they really ready for separation and divorce? Noelle is very unsure of what the future holds for her and her family, so she takes a trip to the city. Maybe a change of scene will help. But she is involved in an accident that leaves her with minor physical injuries, but no memory of her family. How will Eli react to this information? Could this be the chance for them to learn to love again? Can this marriage be saved and the memories be erased or dealt with so that they can move on?
As their story unfolds, Noelle and Eli have to deal with subjects like the death of a child and the grief it brings, the failure of a marriage and finding the will to start again, and how to learn to trust again. It is a compelling story that will have you rooting for the family. It is a story filled with pain and healing, distrust and anger, hope and forgiveness. You may also wonder what it would be like to lose your memory and have to build your life over again. I found the story and its characters very compelling and recommend it to readers who love a thought-provoking story. Reading groups will find a great deal to discuss within these pages. I am happy to be part of the book blog tour for this book.
The marriage of Eli and Noelle Hueston has been going steadily downhill since the death of their teenage daughter in a store shooting. Eli blames himself for her death, and has since retired from his job as Sheriff, and spends his time either fishing or helping out Lee Nelson, who lost her husband in the same shooting. Noelle is barely surviving, and spends her time volunteering, but has made the decision that she is going to live again. A twist of fate finds her caught up in another shore shooting, but while she does not die, she loses all memory of the last 25 years. As Noelle starts to get to know her husband and two sons again, Eli realises that he has to get to know Noelle again.
I really enjoyed this book, more so than I expected based on the plot summary. As well as the main plot, there is a very sweet romantic sub-plot involving Eli and Noelle’s oldest son, Kyle, now a deputy in Deep Haven. As always, Susan May Warren has delivered a book that satisfies on many levels, with likeable characters, a nice romance, a bit of suspense, and some thought-provoking plot lines.
While the Deep Haven novels are all happy-ever-after romances (well, what do you expect from a series where the first book is titled ‘Happily Ever After’?), above all, each book is a story of the power of God to heal our pain. The Shadow of Your Smile is no exception. This is the fifth Deep Haven book, and hopefully won’t be the last. It features cameo appearances from many characters in the earlier books, including Liza Beaumont, the local potter. I’m still anxiously waiting for Susan May Warren to tell us Liza’s story. Perhaps she will meet a good-looking Nashville music producer?
Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Wow this book was great, have a box of tissues handy because you are likely to shed a few tears. Tragedies can either tear a family apart or bring them closer. Trusting God after a tradegy is the key to how you handle it and how life turns out afterwards. Noelle, Eli and the family are put to the test when she loses her memory and Eli must help her remember her life before, but does he want her to remember everything. Could the very reason she was leaving him in the first place be the reason she leaves again....
Great book and I enjoyed laughing, crying and finding out what happens to Noelle and family.