The Farther You Run

Many people have trepidations about reading sequelsto inspirational novels like A Time For Dancing, and I’ll admit I was one ofthem. When I opened The Farther You Run and saw a new character’s name on thefirst page, even I was fearful of the story to come. I found, however, that whenreading an author as good as Hurwin, I had nothing to fear.

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A Time ForDancing is about two best friends, and how their love for dance and a tight bondaffect their lives. When tragedy strikes and Samantha and Juliana are put in atough situation, a lot happens that has readers laughing, crying and bubblingover with emotion. Whether you can relate to the characters or just like a goodtear-jerker, this book is an excellent read. The sequel is a new chapter in thelife of Samantha.

I mentioned that The Farther You Run opens with a newcharacter. Ramona “Mona” Brocato, a Juliana look-alike, is both abarrel of laughs and a fireball of emotion. She is as lonely as Samantha who, inthe previous novel, lost her best friend to cancer. Mona is forlorn, looking fora friend, and seriously convinced she is going to be the only senior to fail hersummer-school English class.

Enter Samantha. It seems like they are amatch made in heaven, and they become fast friends, sharing lunch dates, projectsand even wanting to move in together. After much hard work, they manage tosucceed, and that’s when the story really begins.

Some moments are so realyou can’t help but laugh out loud. Others touch nerves and had me shedding tears.The ability to connect to readers is enviable, and Hurwin definitely achievesthis.

As Samantha, Mona and other new and loveable characters go throughrounds of depression and attempt audacious deeds, readers will find a characteror moment they can connect to.

This novel also raises questions like, Whoexactly are the people on those billboards? Do they have people who love them, orare they as two-dimensional as they appear? Can a new friend ever replace a lostone? Where are the hummingbirds when you need them?

Add a little chapterdedicated to the late Juliana and you’ve got yourself one of the finest sequelsout there. Not only is it beautifully written, but it’s so realistic andemotional that you can’t help but read it many times, recommend it to all, andkeep it on your bookshelf for your children.

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