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This review was prepared by the fine people at 'Writers in the Sky Podcast and Blog.' It is very well thought out and I thought you might enjoy reading what
others are saying about my book.

Title of Document: Book Review
Book Title: As Long As He Needs Me
Author: Mary Verdick
ISBN Number: 978-1-4327-2427-6
Publisher: OutskirtsPress.com
Genre and Target Market: fiction; romance; family
Publication Date: 2009
Book Length in Pages: 215

There are times when I want to dive into a completely fantastical novel that
transports me to a life or a place that could never be my own. Maybe it’s a
sci-fi adventure in which an alien life form threatens the existence of everyone
on our planet. Or, it could be a historical piece that takes place in the royal
courts of Victorian England. Sometimes books can provide that perfect escape
that a reader needs from her everyday existence. However, other times I prefer
to settle in with a story that is completely familiar, one that portrays the
challenges and comforts that come with human relationships and exposes the
emotional frailties that exist in all of us. As Long as He Needs Me, the new
release by author Mary Verdick, beautifully fits into the latter category. This
fictional work does not necessarily allow the reader to escape, but certainly
provides an opportunity to be challenged with very real emotions.

As Long as He Needs Me tells the story of Kitty and Clem Johanssen, a couple
that has just embarked upon a cruise to celebrate their thirty-fifth wedding
anniversary. However, the ship does not even leave the port before events
change the course of their vacation. Both husband and wife are forced to
confront their own feelings of guilt, self-doubt, and loneliness. Along the
way, Verdick does a beautiful job of slowly revealing details of the history of
Johanssen’s lives through flashbacks and conversations. We learn about their
children, their parents, and other relationships that all contributed to the
current dynamic of the marital bond. I imagine every reader will be able to
identify with at least one of the supporting characters in the novel, if not
with the husband or wife directly, making the emotions all the more piercing
and convicting. You cannot help but become invested in the success of Kitty and
Clem’s marriage once their entire story is told.

One of the great strengths of Mary Verdick’s writing throughout As Long as He
Needs Me is her ability to capture a genuine sense of human frailty. She does
this without creating a sense of pity for her characters and without making
them exaggerated in their weakness. Instead, Verdick illustrates the delicate
nature of an intimate relationship that has weathered heartache, devastating
losses, and old-fashioned jealousy all while being comprised of two unique
individuals. No one is completely evil or saintly in As Long as He Needs Me.
Just as the reader is about to condemn a character for a despicable act, a
detail will be revealed to show the situation is more complex than originally
assumed. When writing a story about human nature, that is about as realistic as
it comes!

As Long as He Needs Me is a book that I read from cover to cover in one day.
This is not because the writing was overly simple, but because Mary Verdick
managed to create characters in which I took an interest. I wanted to see the
story of the Johanssen’s relationship through to the end. And, along the way, I
took the time to do some self-reflection on the weaknesses that exist in my own
relationships and the way in which I may be contributing to the current
dynamic. If you enjoy works of fiction that force you to examine some personal
truths, As Long as He Needs Me is a book for you.

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