A Quiet Life

 A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella

A Quiet Life is a gentle, but affecting story of three grieving people whose lives, intersecting in quite ordinary ways, are profoundly changed when they let the others in.

Ella waits anxiously to hear from the police any word on her little girl's whereabouts after she was pulled from school and taken away by her father months ago. Now living in a run-down apartment because she couldn't afford to keep their home without her husband's income, she works one job at a bridal salon, and another delivering newspapers in the early morning hours to make ends meet.

Chuck is one of her delivery customers. She sees his light on early every morning and wonders about him and why he isn't sleeping at this hour. Inside, Chuck is drowning in grief over the loss of his beloved wife, can't sleep, and can't work out how to live without her.

Kirsten works at Rescue Ranch, taking care of the animals, arranging adoptions and managing the office. She stays busy, but none of it fills the emptiness caused by the loss of her father eight months prior, killed in a gas station shooting, a bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm writing this some weeks after reading it and can't quite remember how she is connected to the others but it does all make sense when you read it. 

This was a hopeful story with characters who felt real and drew an emotional response, mostly. I didn't quite understand Kerstin, but it takes all kinds to make a world, even a fictional one. As the title suggests, it's a story of three people quietly struggling to find a way to carry on when it seems impossible. What goes on in their heads and their hearts as they find their way, together and individually, back to living again is what good stories are made of. 

A very nice read.  

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