The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas

Have you ever read a book that causes you to go into a state of mourning when it’s over because you just can’t bear to say goodbye to the characters? A book that is so good that you just want it to keep going and going and going. One that ruins all other books for you for a little while because you can’t get it out of your mind? The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is one of those books for me. Our local bookseller recommended it. She just lit up when she explained that the writings of the fictional author, Joan Ashby are included in the story. I was completely intrigued by that concept.

Joan Ashby is a writer who becomes a literary sensation at a relatively young age. She swears to never fall in love or to have children, but of course, Joan falls crazy in love, marries and finds herself pregnant with a child she never wanted. Her decision to hesitantly embrace motherhood changes the course of her life. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is an epic story of one woman’s journey to somehow find the balance between marriage, family and staying true to her own dreams. A devastating betrayal midway through the book causes Joan to question every decision she has ever made. I kept asking myself what I would do in her situation.

Cherise Wolas is a debut author who writes with such wisdom and beauty that I cannot believe this isn’t her third or fourth novel. I was so captivated I didn’t want to sleep until I finished and then I wanted to start all over again. How does an author not just write a character like Joan, but is then able to give that character their own literary voice within the book? Wolas is truly gifted. You won’t always like Joan Ashby. I didn’t.  But I appreciated her honesty.

~ Leslie M.