My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads: Onstage, the singing duo of Gabe and Mitzi Steiner captured America's heart for more than two decades. Offstage, their own hearts have throbbed as one for sixty years. Only now, Gabe has retreated into the tangles of Alzheimer's, leaving Mitzi to ponder her future alone.
On the other side of Tulsa, everyone believes Brooke Woodson has found the perfect man—a handsome lawyer with sights on becoming Tulsa's next District Attorney. If only Brooke felt more sure. If only her fiancé could control his anger. If only love didn't come with so many scars.
When an accident lands Brooke in the hospital where Mitzi volunteers, the two women quickly develop an unlikely friendship birthed by providence and bathed in grace. And with Mitzi's help, kindness, and insight, Brooke learns how to pick up the broken pieces of her life.
My take: This is a two story book. We have the present-day Brooke who is attempting to leave an abusive relationship. We then have 1935 where Mitzi tells her story about how she became an orphan, was adopted, left home, made it on her own, people she met and how she became a professional singer with her husband, Gabe. Present day, Gabe is in an Alzheimer's unit.
Mitzi finds Brooke in the hospital and recognizes abuse. They find companionship in one another and Mitzi flashes back in time. She also processes much of her thinking when she sees her husband, Gabe.
Brooke is living on her own and engaged to a very powerful man. He is politically on track to become the next attorney general. He lacks remorse for his abuse, blames Brooke then stalks her when she wants to get out. Brooke is feeling controlled by both Lance and her mother.
Both protagonists are likeable. Neither struck me as memorable. Brooke's situation is too clean cut for me. Lance is abusive and nonapologetic. He has absolutely no redeeming qualities. Brooke doesn't sit on the fence for long which is unusual for an abuse victim. I would expect more angst although I did enjoy a strong protagonist.