Official Review: This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel

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Jennifer Allsbrook
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Official Review: This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel

Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 29 Dec 2017, 02:08

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel" by Nancy Farkas.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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This Nearly Was Mine by Nancy Farkas, a work of fiction told in the format of a memoir, follows the life, loves, and losses of Annie. The story, a first-person narrative, relates the events that revolve around a life-altering trip to Spain Annie took in 1980 that had lasting effects on her life and relationships for the next thirty years.

Farkas utilizes the literary devices of flash-forward and flashback allowing Annie to provide readers with glimpses into her life including her present and her past. The story began in 2006, with Annie’s daughter visiting Spain and looking up Annie’s old friend Francisco whom she met in 1980. Consequently, Farkas flashes back to Annie’s life before her trip to Spain. From Annie’s point of view, Farkas introduces a host of characters including Annie’s family, friends, and cheating fiancé in New York City. Broken-hearted from her fiancé’s indiscretions, Annie decides to travel to the resort area of Costa del Sol in Spain where her parents have an apartment to recuperate and heal emotionally.

Traveling with her best friend, Annie visits historical and amazing places in Spain, dines on authentic cuisine, and meets a whole new cast of characters on her adventures. Through Farkas’s descriptive, flowing narrative, the reader experiences Spain along with the two friends. Among Farkas’s new characters were Gustavo, Pablo, and Johann: handsome young men that two young women traveling alone were likely to attract. But the most important relationship came when Annie meets Francisco, a handsome, well-spoken Spanish man who is the concierge in her apartment building. After months of flirtation, Annie moves past her broken heart and begins a whirlwind affair with Francisco. The summer comes to an end, and Annie must return to New York. Following Annie’s decision to leave Spain, Farkas takes us through the relationships and decades of Annie’s life. These events are told through the flash-forward and flashback technique as Annie remembers and relates her experiences.

This Nearly Was Mine provides a poignant look at love and its lasting effects on Annie even as time and distance separate her from the one she realizes she still loves. I enjoyed this aspect of the story because it exhibits that people have a huge capacity for love and it is possible to love many people throughout life. The story also shows that the choices we make shape us as people. One thing that I did not like, the time jumps were sometimes hard to follow, but for the most part, this literary technique was appropriate to relate the memories of a lifetime.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this story to people who enjoy memoirs, autobiographies, or fiction based on real life. The focus on interpersonal relationships from a woman’s perspective makes the book more appropriate for female readers, but there are lessons to be learned for everyone. In the words of Farkas, “the life lesson is that we should not expect too much from life or from ourselves.” Other lessons that manifested through the telling of Annie’s story: love can transcend distance and time, those we love can let us down, and our self-worth and confidence should not be dependent on others. Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely, and I read it all in one sitting. Farkas utilized interesting vocabulary, built characters with depth with which readers could empathize, and created a work of fiction full of life lessons.

******
This Nearly Was Mine: A Novel
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Sahani Nimandra
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 30 Dec 2017, 03:11

Nice message at the end, I loved it! I really like the plot if I get a chance with this book, I sure will take it.
" The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without been lost. The true heart can tough the poison of hatred without been harmed...since beginning-less time, darkness tribes in the void, but always yields to purifying light"

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Post by Kalin Adi » 30 Dec 2017, 08:23

This sounds as a lovely story! I do believe love can transcends time. The title of the book tells a lot about the story. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for this nicely done review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 30 Dec 2017, 09:52

I tend to enjoy flashbacks as a literary device. I'm not sure this one sounds like something I'd enjoy, though. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the book. Thanks.
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Jennifer Allsbrook
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 30 Dec 2017, 11:35

Sahani Nimandra wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 03:11
Nice message at the end, I loved it! I really like the plot if I get a chance with this book, I sure will take it.
It was a surprisingly engaging read and I kept reading until I finished the whole story. The lessons jumped out as touching tidbits of a life well lived. Thank you for your comments.

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Jennifer Allsbrook
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 30 Dec 2017, 11:37

Kalin Adi wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 08:23
This sounds as a lovely story! I do believe love can transcends time. The title of the book tells a lot about the story. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for this nicely done review!
The story was lovely. It's funny that you mention the title because at no time in the reading does the author or
does Annie say anything like this. Thank you for your positive comments.

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Jennifer Allsbrook
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 30 Dec 2017, 11:40

kandscreeley wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 09:52
I tend to enjoy flashbacks as a literary device. I'm not sure this one sounds like something I'd enjoy, though. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about the book. Thanks.
I find this literary device can be very effective at portraying the events that are occurring or have occurred to make a story flow. Thank you for your comments.

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Kalin Adi
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Post by Kalin Adi » 30 Dec 2017, 12:04

Jennifer Allsbrook wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 11:37
Kalin Adi wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 08:23
This sounds as a lovely story! I do believe love can transcends time. The title of the book tells a lot about the story. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for this nicely done review!
The story was lovely. It's funny that you mention the title because at no time in the reading does the author or
does Annie say anything like this. Thank you for your positive comments.
What I get from your review is that Annie after so many years was still in love with Francisco. She had a chance to make a life with him in Spain, but she had to return to NY. So Francisco was nearly to be hers. That's why I think the title reflects the story itself. That's my humble opinion, though.

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Jennifer Allsbrook
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 30 Dec 2017, 12:07

Kalin Adi wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 12:04

What I get from your review is that Annie after so many years was still in love with Francisco. She had a chance to make a life with him in Spain, but she had to return to NY. So Francisco was nearly to be hers. That's why I think the title reflects the story itself. That's my humble opinion, though.
The title does reflect the story in many ways. I can't tell you more without spoilers.

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Post by Umm_Zahra » 30 Dec 2017, 17:17

This definitely sounds like a nice, warm read. I love romance... and affirmations of the love we are all capable us throughout our lives. Thanks for a lovely review. This is going in my shelf.

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Jennifer Allsbrook
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 30 Dec 2017, 17:52

Umm_Zahra wrote:
30 Dec 2017, 17:17
This definitely sounds like a nice, warm read. I love romance... and affirmations of the love we are all capable us throughout our lives. Thanks for a lovely review. This is going in my shelf.
It is great and I am sure you will love it. Thank you for your kind feedback.

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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 01 Jan 2018, 06:13

This is the type of memoir that I will enjoy reading it and I agree with the life lesson the our self-worth and confidence should not depend on others. Thank you for your review!
"Read in order to live." ~Gustave Flaubert

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Jennifer Allsbrook
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 01 Jan 2018, 19:39

ParadoxicalWoman wrote:
01 Jan 2018, 06:13
This is the type of memoir that I will enjoy reading it and I agree with the life lesson the our self-worth and confidence should not depend on others. Thank you for your review!
Thank you for your comments. This is memoir-like work of fiction and it is very enjoyable. I hope you have a chance to read it.

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Post by bookowlie » 02 Jan 2018, 11:00

Great review! I considered choosing this review book recently so it was particularly nice to read your opinions. The characters and plot sound intriguing, but I winced when hearing the time jumps were sometimes hard to follow. I don't usually like books that have too many time jumps for that very reason.
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Jennifer Allsbrook
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Post by Jennifer Allsbrook » 03 Jan 2018, 11:55

bookowlie wrote:
02 Jan 2018, 11:00
Great review! I considered choosing this review book recently so it was particularly nice to read your opinions. The characters and plot sound intriguing, but I winced when hearing the time jumps were sometimes hard to follow. I don't usually like books that have too many time jumps for that very reason.
Thank you for the positive comments. I will say that once I got used to the back and forward, the timeline became easier to follow. I really liked the story!

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