I’m Still Here by Kathryn R. Biel Book Review
Esther Comely-Cox has a lot going on. A family that has disowned her (except for her sister Charlie), a twin that committed suicide, and so far a life of being alone.
Esther refers to her parents as “Cheryl & Dean”, as when she was growing up their family dynamic wasn’t the ‘usual’. As she put it her parents were crunchy treehuggers. They didn’t believe in Western medicine, they were drug users and were a bit outlandish, to say the least.
Her mother was so ‘out there’ that she named her first 5 children after characters in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Then the twins were born and they were named Aster & Esther. Esther said she didn’t even get the cool name and she was never loved like Aster. To make matters worse Aster suffered from Mental Illness. Bi-polar to be exact, and Esther, being her twin was always there to take care of her and help her out. Then one day Aster leaves a note to say good-bye and is never seen again.
Esther is a low paid social worker (as most are), and is barely making ends meet. Her car is on its last leg and she hasn’t had a relationship since her short-lived marriage to Dickie Cox. After changing her mind about going to a speed-dating gathering, Esther grabs some Ho-hos and Fritos and makes her way home to her apartment. On her drive home, she is t-boned by another vehicle, her airbag deploys leaving Ho-ho crumbs and cream on her face and eyebrows.
Out of a fog a handsome man gets her out of her car and explains she has been in an accident. Then out of no where Esther hears a girl yell a familiar phrase that only she and Aster would say to one another.
This is where the story takes off and will keep you reading until you are done. The different characters are all interwoven. You will fight for Esther, laugh with her and at a time or two cry for her. Her character is stronger than she realizes when she is faced with adversity and challenges.
I could relate with Aster’s issues as I was diagnosed as Bipolar over a year ago. I didn’t have the same experiences as her, and also I was older than her when it was detected. I could, however, identify with the way she seemed to feel.
I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys twists in a plot. Just when you think you have it figured out, there is another turn in events. I give this book 10 thumbs up, that is just how much I not only enjoyed the story, but the characters too!
Thank you Kathryn Biel, for a wonderful story and for the information at the end regarding Mental Illness. I totally agree with you!
About the author:
Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather (kathrynbiel.blogspot.com). She is the author of Good Intentions (2013) and Hold Her Down (2014). Please feel free to follow on Twitter (@KRBiel) or on Facebook (Kathryn R. Biel: Author)
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.