Welcome to the TLC Book Tour for Remember Me
Nia and Danielle met and became friends in 1976 when Mia’s parents forced her to transfer from the public school she loved to a private all-girls’ Catholic high school. Mia was one of a minority of African-American students and did not have friends there. Danielle came from a middle class family. She had lost her mother recently, but within three short months her father remarried, bringing a stepmother and step-siblings into the household. While Danielle spent time at Mia’s house regularly, Danielle’s bigoted family prohibited Danielle from bringing Mia home. Despite their differences, the two girls forged a bond that lasted until they had graduated from college and were in their late twenties. It was then that something went terribly wrong between them.
Mia is preparing to send her only child, Alexa, off to college at the University of Michigan, as her husband, Frank, is the subject of an SEC and FBI probe into his investment firm’s activities. Married twenty years, Mia and Frank’s union is anything but blissful, despite their opulent lifestyle. Since surviving breast cancer five years ago, they have rarely been intimate. Worse, Mia suspects that Frank is having an affair, although he vehemently denies that he has been unfaithful. Eight years ago, Mia gave up the teaching career she loved, but in light of the investigation’s impact upon the family’s financial stability, there is a real possibility that she will need to return to work in order to obtain health insurance. And Mia’s old boyfriend, Lamont, has been sending her messages on Facebook pressing her to meet him for coffee.
Danielle fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer. Her very first novel became a New York Times bestseller and she has continued drafting popular novels, giving her a large and devoted fan base, as well as enormous wealth. Her husband, Allen, was a successful actor, but in the last few years his career waned so he became a househusband and father to their daughter, Tiffany. Despite all of her accomplishments, Danielle has no friends and now she has a massive case of unrelenting writer’s block. The deadline for her next book is looming, and Tiffany is preparing to leave their Florida home to attend the University of Michigan. Danielle is upset about the fact that Tiffany’s departure date coincides with her upcoming book tour, preventing her from accompanying Tiffany and helping her settle into her dorm.
Mia and Danielle have neither seen nor spoken to each other for twenty years. Neither of them is acquainted with the other’s husband or child. But a bizarre twist of fate is about to bring them back together just as each of them is facing enormous personal challenges. Will the strength of the friendship they once shared allow them to reconcile and renew their relationship?
The best friendships allow for honesty, disagreement from time to time, and forgiveness. But some transgressions are too shockingly callous and inflict too much pain for a friendship to continue. Something happened between Mia and Danielle more than twenty years ago that drove them apart. Precisely what transpired is not revealed until very late in their story. Author Cheryl Robinson expertly sets the stage with a modern-day prologue. She then weaves the story of how the two women came together as high school freshman and remained as close as sisters for many years through a series of chapters set in alternating time periods. Beginning with December 1976, she relates their adventures as young girls growing up in Detroit with the events of 2010, leading up to the penultimate moment when, each facing the worst crisis of her life, Mia and Danielle unexpectedly come face to face in a hospital corridor.
The result is a gripping coming-of-age story set in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Robinson recounts how the two girls connected and experienced many of life’s firsts together. Juxtaposed against the saga of their modern-day troubles, Robinson reveals each characters’ strengths, weaknesses, and the choices that have led them to the crisis that both must deal with at the outset of the book.
Both women are extremely intelligent, well-educated, and independent, although they have chosen to use their talents in very different ways. Mia established herself as a teacher, earning her master’s degree while enjoying a successful career at a school she loved. But breast cancer caused her to leave the job she loved in order to focus on her recovery and young daughter. By that point, Mia had attained the financial security she yearned for as a child. Her husband, Frank, a partner in an investment firm, was able to provide her with a luxurious home, cars, and jewels, not to mention a coveted American Express card with no spending limit. Although they enjoyed happy times, Mia is no longer sure that she loves Frank. Having passed the five year survival milestone, Mia knows that something has died between them. She is no longer physically attracted to Frank and quite certain that he is cheating on her, despite his denials. News of his possible criminal involvement in an investment fraud scheme infuriates Mia, and strengthens her resolve to regain her independence and life her live on her own terms.
Meanwhile, Danielle has never learned how to create or maintain friendships. She is only close to her immediate family and precious dog, Pulitzer. In one heartbreaking scene, Danielle learns from her agent that her first novel has made the New York Times bestseller list and netted her a movie deal. Having lost Mia’s friendship by that time, she has absolutely no one to telephone and share her good news with. For all of Danielle’s success, she is living an isolated life. Her marriage is also threatened — she is deeply disappointed by Allen’s abandonment of his acting career, even though they mutually decided, after his last few movies were box office bombs, that he would focus on running their household so that she could fully devote herself to writing. Their marriage is now being put to the greatest test — either its true strength will be revealed or it will splinter and die. As for Danielle, she must muster courage she did not know she possessed.
Remember Me is a smart, fast-moving, and gripping story of two women with a shared history who are both at a crossroads in their lives. Each has to decide what matters most to them and make critical decisions about the direction the second half of her life will take. When they are suddenly reunited, Mia and Danielle must examine their long-buried resentments, hurts, and sorrow about the loss of their friendship in order to determine whether they can overcome the past, forgive each other and themselves, and regain the closeness they let slip away more than twenty years earlier. Do they have enough shared history for that to be possible? Do they each have the capacity to love a dear friend enough to move past their friendship’s painful demise? Robinson’s keen understanding of female friendships and masterful story-telling will make readers want to learn the answers to those questions. Remember Me is a perfect book to curl up with on a lazy afternoon and will make female readers appreciate their long-time good friends even more than they did before reading Robinson’s sprawling, insightful tale about strong women and the even stronger ties that bind women together over many decades.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of Remember Me free of charge from the author in conjunction with the TLC Book Tours review and virtual book tour program. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own. This disclosure complies with 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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