I discovered this author some time ago and have been eagerly awaiting the release of The Bench. I was not disappointed. With a few deft strokes of her pen, Rebecca Moreán creates scenes you can see, taste, smell, and most importantly, feel. Once again, she has written an engaging story about a woman I instantly recognize. She's a typical woman, not looking for love, just trying to get through the day.
When her husband walks out, suburban mom Katie Wickham is suddenly cast adrift. To the outside world, she appears to have her act together. In her private world, she has trouble getting out of bed. In short, masterfully detailed scenes, Moreán draws a picture of a woman desperately trying to keep things normal for her children when normal no longer exists.
Benny Biron's job as a private investigator is to get the evidence the client is paying for, even if that evidence is questionable. His vision of love is tainted by the constant betrayal he witnesses every day from both client and subject. Benny's is a lonely life, an endless round of wallowing in other people's filth and returning to an empty apartment. He hates it, but has lost the ambition to change it.
His latest assignment is Katie and again, in a series of vignettes, we're along for the ride as Benny discovers a woman who is not what he expected. Sometimes humorous, sometimes achingly poignant, these scenes provide him with an intimate portrayal of a good woman. As Benny falls in love, so will you.
When they finally meet and their attraction grows, you'll be rooting for them but, as in all good stories, there are stumbling blocks along the way, not least of which is Katie herself. She's older, and wiser, and stronger than she was the first time she fell in love. She now understands that being emotional support system for a man is not enough.
Is this Women's Fiction or Romance? I can't decide. I only know that Moreán has created a unique and very satisfying ending to this unique and very satisfying love story.