Jacquelyn Mitchard

Happy Thursday, all y’all.

Today I’m going to introduce you to another amazing woman who took the time to read and endorse Far From Here. I’m absolutely loving this little exercise because I’m realizing as I write each post that these lovely ladies were all somehow influential in shaping me as a writer. I’ve admired them, cried over their books, and longed to emulate them… and it’s a blast for me to take a little time and recount what their work has meant to me.

I first read The Deep End of the Ocean in college, and even though I didn’t have children, I spent a good portion of the book with my heart in my throat. The movie made Jacquelyn Mitchard a household name, but I have a confession: I’ve never seen the movie. The book was too heartbreaking, too hopeful, too real on the page to possibly survive the transition to big screen. (Another confession: I think the book is always better than the movie. Always.) But whether or not the entire country embraced Jacquelyn Mitchard’s story, I secretly felt for years that it was somehow mine

Not because I could really relate to Beth. I was, after all, nineteen years old, and having (and losing!) a child was the last thing on my mind. And although I loved the fragile hope that continued to grow through the pages, that wasn’t what made me fall so hard for The Deep End of the Ocean. Instead, I think I sort of claimed it as my book because it so sweetly and subtly expressed the cry of my soul: life is beautiful, even when it is hard. I remember turning the last page, blinking back tears and thinking, “That is how I want to write. That perfect mixture of poetry and quiet passion is exactly why people say that the pen is mightier than the sword.”

I’ve been a Jacquelyn Mitchard fan for years, and though there are many other authors that I greatly admire, every time someone asks me to chronicle my literary heros, she’s always at the top of my list. I think she’s a classic in her own time.

It still blows my mind that Ms. Mitchard endorsed my book. She said: Far From Here, Nicole Baart’s tale of the certainties of absolute fear and the uncertainty of love, whirls the reader up and never lets go.” Wow. Can I frame that?

Anyway, if you haven’t read Jacquelyn Mitchard (or even if you have!) it’s time to get acquainted (reacquainted) with this fantastic author. Her newest release is actually a sequel to The Deep End of the Ocean called No Time To Wave Goodbye. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading it yet, but I can’t wait to! But if you don’t want to jump into a series, my favorite Mitchard book is A Theory of Relativity. Check it out — you won’t be disappointed!

**Disclaimer from an idiot: No Time to Wave Goodbye is NOT Ms. Mitchard’s newest release. Second Nature: A Love Story is. I overlooked it because the cover is so similar to The Breakdown Lane (which I read a couple years ago and loved). Anyway, I am both mortified at my own idiocy, and thrilled that I can add another book to my “To Read” list!

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