Between Heaven and Earth (Power of the Matchmaker)

Michelle Paige

Cassandra had the perfect beginning to a perfect life with the perfect man - until he is shot while on duty and ends up in a permanent vegetative state; neither dead nor alive. For six years she goes on with her life as if he will wake up any moment. She coaches her son’s soccer team and meets Matt, a widowed father of two boys of the same age. Matt was a globetrotting NBA commentator until his wife died of an aneurysm, and he finds he knows nothing of playing house, and little more than that about his sons. Their friendship evolves, with each filling a hole in the life of the other, and their sons become BFFs, but that brings problems she doesn’t want.

Single parents meeting and coming together is not a new contemporary trope, but when one isn’t technically single because the body of the spouse is still breathing—an entirely new layer of emotions gets tapped. Cassie’s journey from living in limbo for years to falling in love again can be painful to read. She naturally moves forward when she meets a good man, as many widows do, but not being a widow pulls at her, and readers feel it all. Matt’s journey is no less emotional, as he is just realizing how to be a father while trying to guide two hurt little boys back from the pain of losing their mother. A deep, and often stubborn, look at a level of “what-if” rarely experienced, readers will have heartstrings tugged painfully, and love every moment of it.

Julie York