By: Marin Thomas
Publication Date: September 2017
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: October 3, 2017
Marin Thomas quashes the notion of ‘you can never go home again’ in her latest novel, The Future She Left Behind.
Katelyn Pratt has it all—a beautiful set of twins, a more than adequate home filled with lots of expensive possessions and a hard-working husband who sustains all the finer things in life she’s grown accustomed to. When her husband of twenty years decides to trade forty-year-old Katelyn in for a younger model, little did Katelyn know her departure would entail inheriting the company of her judgmental and serene mother-in-law. It was time to leave St. Louis and travel back in time to Little Springs, Texas—a place Katelyn vowed she would keep in her rear-view mirror for the rest of her life when she left for college long ago. Little Springs wasn’t just a small and suffocating town with a one-way ticket to nowhere. It was the home and place she left her first love Jackson—the man she traded love for money when she married Don.
Katelyn was a gifted artist and when she received scholarships to college for her abilities, it was her ticket to freedom from uneventful Little Springs. Of course, she loved Jackson. He was her true love, but he would never have the money to provide the life Katelyn wanted. Sadly, during the twenty years she was married to Don, Katelyn rarely (if ever) picked up her sketch pad or paint brush. Rather, she spent the years convincing herself her children needed her, and the charity functions and dinners were important for her husband’s steady and successful climb. When her twins prepare for their new life in college in the coming fall and her marriage implodes, it is her return to Little Springs and the reconnection with Jackson that guilt Katelyn into realizing the only obstacle that kept Katelyn away from what she loved most all those years was Katelyn.
Marin Thomas maximizes on the precious real estate of the first handful of pages to draw her audience into this engaging story. She has a natural flair toward conversation and complements it beautifully with tangible scenery and set up. Ms. Thomas clearly gets the concept of taking a fictitious character and applying life and personality to him/her. There are plenty of whimsical and witty exchanges between Katelyn Pratt and her overbearing mother-in-law that are beyond relatable. The humor and tasteful sarcasm of the constant banter between the two will have the reader willingly turning each page to experience the next showdown. Ms. Thomas has taken the age-old premise of ‘you can never go home again’ and more than dabbled with the premise of ‘...or maybe you can.’ I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Ms. Thomas’ previous novel, The Promise of Forgiveness. This body of work is as exceptionally satisfying to read as her previous novel was. Ms. Thomas has proven again she has an ample war chest filled with a bevy of stories to pen; each more delicious than the last, without question. Well done! I look forward to the next read.
Quill says: Sometimes we must travel back in time to salvage the ‘future we left behind.’