The River by Starlight by Ellen Notbohm
Sometimes we just don’t know how strong we are. And then, sometimes we do.
Annie Rushton was living in Iowa with her parents after her marriage collapsed. She had a good husband and a new baby and deep, black post partum depression that debilitated her to the point she had to give both of them up to survive herself. Now she lives with stares and whispers as she walks down the street because who gives up their family for themselves? When her parents’ death frees her of their care she accepts her brother’s offer to come live with him in Montana. She couldn’t pack her bags fast enough and she set off to start fresh.
Annie loves Montana, she loves everything about it, especially her freedom.
Adam Fielding shows up and Annie is taken with his idea of financial freedom, of his industriousness that matches her own, his new ideas and she’s willing to let herself fall for him and the life he offers. But Annie is still haunted or rather plagued with the past depression and her body responds with many miscarriages, which only makes matters worse. The couples’ businesses falter and eventually their marriage.
But it takes a strong person to survive what Annie endures and she continues to put one foot in front of the other, convincing those around her she has worth as a person and is given chances.
In the end I did not think this was what we call “chick lit.” All the elements are there – young woman, young man, love, etc., but this was a really smart story, a story with a future, a story that, in parts, surprised me and it’s based on true events. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction and there is no denying the spirit within us that strives to survive.