Title: You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 348 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her, in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.
Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too—unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of it, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.
Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?
You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley is a captivating novel that is thought-provoking and humorous with a bit of a mystical vibe.
Mia Graydon and her surgeon husband Harrison have recently relocated from Philly to the small town of Hope Springs. While Harrison has settled into his new practice, Mia is struggling to launch her career and put down new roots. After another miscarriage, Mia is stunned by Harrison’s reaction after a visit to a fertility doctor. With her once strong marriage faltering, Mia meets Oliver, the man who has starred in recurring dreams she has had for years. Even more surprising is Oliver’s confession that he, too, dreams of her. As her marriage becomes even more troubled, Mia and Oliver try to understand their dreams and whether or not there is a tangible connection behind their mutual dream life.
Mia never thought she would marry after her turbulent childhood but falling in love with Harrison changed her mind. She also had no interest in becoming a mother but she one day realized she was ready to add to their family. But their road to parenthood is rocky and with this most recent loss, Mia is not ready to give up on becoming a mother.
At an impasse with Harrison about parenthood, Mia instead focuses on trying to understand why she and Oliver dream about each other. Their quest for understanding takes a tiny supernatural turn as they delve into psychic connections and the meaning of dreams. Mia and Oliver also connect on a personal level as they discuss their dreams, text back and forth about their discoveries and embark on a journey to find answers to their questions. As Mia and Harrison’s relationship grows more strained, she cannot help but wonder if there is a deeper meaning to dreaming about Oliver and their meeting in real life.
You Were There Too is an incredibly riveting novel that is emotional and touching. The characters are well-drawn and vibrantly developed with relatable strengths and foibles. The storyline is clever and engrossing with realistic issues to overcome. The dream story arc is creative and intriguing with Mia and Oliver trying to uncover the meaning for their ethereal connection. Colleen Oakley brings this enchanting novel to a shocking and poignant conclusion. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this deeply affecting novel.