Denise and Gavin are over.

381 days into their love affair, Gavin shut the door and Denise is all alone.

At day 380, Denise is trying to figure out how to salvage what’s left of their relationship and by day 200, they are even happier than the day they met; day 1 when Denise knows beginnings are merely endings in disguise.

But what doesn’t kill us will break our hearts.

Travel back 381 days and bear witness to the goodbye before the hello.


I’ve been following Cynthia on social media for a while now, but I had never read one of her novels. We all know how it is. We have a million books on our TBR and the science of picking our next book is something even we don’t understand.

When I saw her making posts about this novel, how personal it was going to be, etc… I was intrigued. I value stories based on true stories. I love confessional tales. I could tell writing this book was taking a toll on her. That it was difficult. I believe I saw posts of hers while I was writing my own confessional novel. So I completely understood.

I love the idea of telling a story in reverse. I read the novel But I Love Him for book club some time within the past 6 months and it was refreshing. Cynthia’s teasers also drew me in. They were beautiful branded and well thought. As an author, it’s hard to turn that part of my brain off.

I wasn’t expecting to find writing in this novel that so closely mirrored my own. Word choice, sentence structure, etc… I loved it. I felt like I was reading a book I could have written. It was so painfully honest and vulnerable. I didn’t feel like I was just reading some story that popped into the author’s head. This was a confession. A piece of her that was hard to give over. I understood the pain and the way one can get caught up in the kind of relationship Denise and Gavin had. I found myself wanting to push Gavin off a cliff and not understanding how they go to the point they were, but then completely getting why Denise held on. I’ve been there. I think a lot of us have. Also, counting down to the day they met was so nervewracking. It needed to be something that explained to me why they fell for each other. And it totally did. It was fire.

Congrats Cynthia on showing us this part of your heart. I want everyone to get a taste of your voice. It’s unique and I want to devour all of your words.


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