TWO 4 Star Reviews for Stowe Away by Blythe Rippon #FF #Romance @BlytheRippon

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Title: Stowe Away
Author Name: Blythe Rippon
Publication Date & Length: February 3, 2016 – 300 pgs


Samantha Latham is a little socially awkward and a lot brilliant. When she arrives at Yale, thrilled to finally escape her rural Vermont hometown called Stowe, the focused and driven Sam knows exactly what she wants: an illustrious career as a medical researcher and a relationship with her new best friend Natalie, a talented yet capricious girl who keeps Sam guessing.
Everything changes when Sam must suddenly withdraw from school to care for her invalid mother back in Vermont. Moving back to Stowe means no more brilliant career in medicine, and definitely no more Natalie. As she finds herself alone, faced with a life she never wanted, Sam slowly learns to recalibrate what she considers success, discovering the artistic side of Stowe, a community of lesbians she never imagined existed there, and a new woman who inspires Sam to rethink everything she thought she knew—especially about love.

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This book was technically an excellently constructed novel. The language, the grammar, the  linguistics were all so professionally written it was a pleasure to read. The lead characters were beautifully described and portrayed. I also thought the way the chapters were related by term time added to the scholastic presentation.
However it did give off to me, a rather middle class air and although it was emotionally well presented I did feel it lacked excitement and empathy. Technically I could not fault this novel hence the four stars I couldn’t award five stars as I personally had my reservations about how much I actually bonded with the characters.
Sam, a brilliant science student, goes away to Yale to study to be a doctor. She meets the beautiful Natalie, who doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. Natalie is seemingly straight and gets through a lot of boyfriends, breaking Sam’s heart each time. Sam is completely and totally in love with Nat but her feelings are not reciprocated. Nat loves her only as a friend even though she is now sleeping with women as well as men. I found the first half of the book while Sam is at Yale a bit slow but still well written but the second half really gets going. Once Sam goes to graduate school in California we think her life is on track and she will be a brilliant research scientist and conquer her field. Life doesn’t always work out the way we plan though and it is this that makes the story really become interesting.
Sam’s mother, Eve, has a massive stroke and she ends up having to come back home to care for her. Although she loves her mother and willingly does so I felt so sorry that she had to give up a brilliant future to be stuck in a small town wasting her talents. The author makes us see that there is more than one way to achieve your dreams and slowly Sam begins to see that too. The introduction of Maria is wonderful. A friend of Eve’s with a restaurant in town , she is also a carer. She has looked after her brother since she was a teenager and had to give up her own dreams to do so. The difference between her and Sam is that she can see that there are opportunities even in their own small town, and interesting people to share your life with. She is fun and attractive and also gay so Sam is drawn to her. Their relationship builds slowly as Sam must let go of her 6 year infatuation with Natalie. I love how their relationship developed and thought Maria was a great character. She was exactly what Sam needed and over time that became obvious to Sam too.
This was a lovely read and I would recommend it. Although the first half is slow it really is worth keeping with it as there is so much development in the second half.


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Blythe Rippon holds a PhD in the humanities and currently teaches writing to undergraduates. Until now, her publishing has been of the academic variety. When not grading papers or imagining plots for future novels, she is usually holding forth about the political injustice of the day, hiking, or experimenting in the kitchen. She has lived all over the United States and at present can be found in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her wife and children.


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