NOT WITHOUT YOU
Not Without You examines whether true love between two people can really endure and withstand the test of time throughout a number of years and obstacles. Although Barrett attempts to establish a connection between the two characters, the novel doesn’t quite relay the feeling of intimacy and strong bonding. The idea of the story is romantic, however there is very little rapport and chemistry between Kate and Efrem, and the stages of their relationship go by too quickly for readers to really enjoy. The dramatic sequences that do remain are overdone and present highly unlikely results and major coincidences.
When TV news correspondent Kate Groen and Lieutenant Efrem Chaudoir find themselves in side-by-side prison cells in Iraq at the height of the Gulf War, they forge a strong bond and become inseparable, falling madly in love with one another. As fate has it, Kate and Efrem must each lead their separate lives without each other when they learn Efrem’s wife back home is pregnant. This news causes Kate to rebound and fall into the arms of Gordon May.
Throughout the years, Kate and Efrem continue to cross paths while engaging in the Kosovo conflict and present-day Afghanistan, each very aware of their undying love for each other. When the time comes and there are no barriers preventing Kate and Efrem from being together, they must decide if their love is still true. (FIVE STAR, Feb., 288 pp., $25.95)