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by Katherine Owen
"Here's what I know: Death abducts the dying, but grief steals from those left behind."
Julia Hamilton hates Athens, Afghanistan, and the U.S. Army; and now, Advil. She hates a lot of things that begin with the letter A, with good reason, because she's lost everyone she's ever loved to these very things. But it's an illicit connection to a stranger at her husband's funeral that saves her life, leaves her battling grief and guilt, and has her questioning everything else including the secrets she holds onto about her past as well as her present.
Katherine's award-winning debut novel is heartbreakingly intense, achingly romantic, and ultimately captivating. Seeing Julia is an intense, emotional roller coaster of a ride, so hang on and don't forget to breathe.
If you enjoy the tender scenes of P.S. I Love You, the poignant story lines of Nicholas Sparks, and the twists and turns in plot lines like those of Jodi Picoult, you are going to LOVE Katherine Owen's novel Seeing Julia!
Please be advised that Seeing Julia contains adult language and adult situations and is not appropriate for young readers.
From Chapter One ~ In The After Again
I've been here before. I've done this before. At sixteen, I buried my parents. At twenty-three, my fiancé Bobby. And now, almost four years later, my husband Evan. I’m here again in the after. Here’s what I know: death abducts the dying, but grief steals from those left behind. There is less of myself with every loss.
I stare at the red glow of the cigarette for a long time and then inhale deep. A rush of nicotine courses through me.
I don’t smoke. Except today, I do.
The lit cigarette provides the only light in the church stairwell. I take comfort in the cloak of darkness and estimate having another five minutes of anonymity before Kimberley comes looking for me. Five minutes to get it together, to let the Oxycodone and nicotine do their thing. One to get me to an anesthetized state and the other because breaking the rules seems like the one thing I should do for him this day. I lie back and willingly suffer the sharp metal edge of the stair that digs into my back. The pain is real enough, but it’s nothing compared to the steady ache that already pulses inside of me. I close my eyes and allow this stairwell sanctuary to envelop all of me.
Seeing Julia is a touching yet fun read. I didn't have a day free to read the book from cover to cover, so had to sneak a chapter here and there, or stay up way to late (I'd tell myself I'd just read a chapter, but as each chapter ended there was such reason to read on, I had to read more!).
Julia is one of those people who has experienced tremendous loss for her young age. Owen does an amazing job of showing us Julia's progression from completely broken, to, well... no spoilers! It's a story where you know exactly how you want it to end, but you can't imagine the means of how Julia will get there. I found myself thinking ahead and guessing at what might transpire next for Julia, but I was seldom on the mark, which pulls you further and further in to Julia's life.
I believe this is Katherine Clare Owen's first published novel, but it feels like she's been writing fiction her entire life. I can't wait to read Not To Us!
About the Author
Katherine Owen lives near Seattle in a suburb overlooking Lake Washington in a very old house with her husband and two children. She has written three novels, Seeing Julia, Not To Us, and When I See You. Katherine is also featured in the anthology, Indie Chicks: 25 Independent Women 25 Personal Stories (Volume 1), which features an excerpt of Seeing Julia. She is hard at work on her next novel.
Katherine's writing delves into the complexities of relationships, often from both love and loss perspectives, because, as an author, she enjoys the unpredictability and uniqueness she finds there. Katherine's writing is not for the faint of heart, it’ll take readers on a proverbial emotional roller coaster ride, before reaching resolution, and the endings are somewhat surprising. Katherine's writing tends to be dark, moody, and sometimes funny. It can be a bit lyrical or even literary. It’s often edgy, so be forewarned. Her stories are comprised of broken heroines, who are often lost, and not always intent on finding their way back, and, even the heroes in her books have a few flaws that cause trouble or can disappoint. Many of her readers complain they can't put the novel down, or, just when they think they've figured the story out, it changes and becomes something else. Katherine has garnered a wonderful following of readers who enjoy her work, but she's always looking for more.
In late July 2010, Katherine was recognized by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and awarded the coveted Zola Award and first place in the romance category (women's fiction) for her novel, Seeing Julia.