Waiting For Spring
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Waiting For Spring

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The pain in Tess Dyer's heart stems from a lifetime of rejection: by her distant mother, by a string of one-night stands, and by her husband, Jason. He promised to love her forever, yet here she is, divorced and shunned in her own town. She tries everything to dull the pain: sex, work, and endlessly cleaning the house. Finally, in a fit of despair, she abandons the small t...more
Paperback, 395 pages
Published 2007
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Scott Collins
While this book doesn't fall into my normal reading genres, I'm very happy I went outside my comfort zone and read this book. I found the characters well developed, even the ones I didn't like. The story kept me engaged and I even engaged the text to speech feature (which I don't really like) so that I could "read" in the car. I was very moved by this book, both positively and negatively. I found myself saddened by some of the trials of the characters and filled with hope by others. Thank you RJ...more
I read this book, all the way amazed by the vitality of the writing.

The protagonist (Tess) “looks like shit” most of the time and works as a cleaning lady and her love interest (Brian) has a construction company. They are working class, real people with even more real problems that make our real lives look absurdly fictional. They deal with abuse, drugs, absent parents, abortions, beatings and death. Still, although they live in a seemingly endless ”cold, cruel, frigid winter” nobody ever stops...more
Actually, I guess this book could be a 2 1/2 star book, because there were many places where the writing very good.

My disklikes: Too much adult language (very distracting), and too much sex, that didn't add to the story. The book was too long, if 100 pages had been edited out, it would have been better. The ending was very good. I think my biggest problem was that I couln't sympathize with the main character, I didn't like her. I almost liked the other characters better.

My likes: Some of the p...more
This book could benefit from serious editing, 30 percent of it could and should be deleted. Length does not always equal quality. Excess can (and did) result in a very annoyed reader.
I Read
To begin with my expectations were low of this book but I am glad I persisted as the author surprised me by producing a work that, although quite unlike anything I've read in the past, produced deep characters and a plot that kept me read till the end. I enjoyed the style of writing; the way Tess experienced and viewed the world and people around her. Another aspect which I favoured was how each item mentioned turned out later to have a significance and meaning beyond it's initial appearance.

Misty Baker
When I read a book I become emotionally engrossed in it, sometimes this habit is good, because the book will brighten my mood or make me a stronger person, while other times the words that flow from the pages (to create the movie in my head) leave little burn marks, like a projector that was wound to tightly. “Waiting for Spring” was the later.

I have read so many books lately that focus on peoples inability to control, rely, or believe in themselves that it’s starting to make me wonder if this i...more
Kathleen Crowell
I thought the beginning really captured the sadness and pain of the main character Tess. But it never ended and just seemed to get worse and worse. I hated the constant "counting" the main character did--from the steps to her apartment to how many days since something bad happened. Maybe I missed something there. I obviously got that Tess used sex for validation, etc...but the sex in this book (usually called f--ing) got old really fast. For someone who supposedly thought in terms of color, and...more
This is a tough one to review because I was sucked into the story and wanted to know what happened, but I felt like the book was way too long and just wanted it to end. I got annoyed at the mopey main character--think Bella Swan times a hundred. She hates herself because her mother hated her and because she had sex with tons of guys to try to make herself feel better. There were also see things I found unrealistic. On the plus side, I felt like I was rooting for the main characters, and I could...more
Helen Smith
I liked the warm, flawed, funny heroine in Waiting for Spring. Tess and the situations she found herself in felt authentic, as if the writer was writing from the heart if not actually drawing on episodes from her own life. Tess deals with tragedy, love, sex, work , heartache and loss during the course of the book - and all of it feels credible.

On a separate note, the author has made a series of funny short films with her fellow author Kristen Tsetsi about 'the writer's life' which I enjoyed very...more
Elena Aitken
I loved this book. From the very first page, I was hooked by the writing style and couldn't put it down. I started it thinking that I knew how it would play out. I was wrong. The author surprised me countless times.
I laughed, and I cried. A book that can do both has my vote!
I've recommended this one to all my friends.
Good stuff.
I really enjoyed this book. The story felt so real I couldn't put it down even when I was too tired and sleepy to hold my phone in front of my face. It was an emotional roller coaster, I could feel not only Tess' pain, but the whole range of emotions every character went through. Thank you so much for it, Kel!
This book has captured raw emotion like no other I have ever read. I wept many times while reading this. I ached for the leading character. It was a good book I liked it
It was a beautiful story of family, pain, forgiveness, love and moving on. But it feels a little too wordy.
Generally I like a little chick lit now and then. And to be fair, the pace and flow of the book was great and, whether you liked them or not, the characters were full blown and alive so kudos to the author for that. It's very possible the timing of my reading of this wasn't great but I honestly really didn't like it. I think I am just personally getting tired of stories about women that are almost 40 acting like they're in their late teens. Maybe today's society is just way more juvenile than wh...more
Craig Lancaster
The emotional honesty of this book -- in ways that will make your heart soar and stop it cold -- is startling. In a world of fiction inundated with two-dimensional women who are shopaholics, fashionistas or crime-fighting, ass-kicking FBI agents (or, God forbid, crime-fighting, ass-kicking FBI agents who wear haute couture and slink around the mall), R.J. Keller's Tess is rough-edged, whipsmart, beaten down and indomitable. She's real. You can get your arms around her.

I have two small -- very sm...more
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It���������������������������s been a long time since I threw common sense to the wind and stayed up to finish a book knowing how much I had to do the next day, but not resenting it the next day because it was totally worth it.

This book has no spiffy genre classification. After some thought, I think I���������������������������d call it ���������������������������literary romance.��������������������������� I don���������������������������t know what ���������������������������women�������������...more
A long line of people have rejected Tess Dyer, even before the final rejection from her husband Jason. The husband who had been a childhood friend, a town star, and the one who had promised to love her forever.

So what will happen next to a woman whose heart is frozen, like the soil that is hard before the Spring thaw?

She moves a few miles away, to another small Maine town, hoping to start over. To create a new life and new memories. And she meets Brian, who fills her heart and life...for awhile....more
Philip Nork
The feeling I have after reading “Waiting for Spring” by RJ Keller is one of hopefulness.
Immediately after meeting the main character, Tess, I had a feeling of connection with her. She is an ordinary middle-aged woman who has some baggage she carries around (like the rest of us) and some deep-seeded fears just waiting to come out.
From her mother she gets nothing but hatred…about messing up her plans for life, about Tess’s ill attempt at marriage and the decision she made about not wanting kids...more
Cheryl Anne Gardner
For a standard “woman starting over after a failed relationship” type of story, this one had a rough edge to it that I liked -- liked a lot. If more contemporary women's fiction was written like this, I would read more of it. Tess, our narrator and main character, is a little off. She is Neurotic. Very. Very. Neurotic. Not to mention: cynical, sarcastic, and self-absorbed. Not much to like really, but considering her dysfunctional childhood, her bleak outlook on life seems somewhat justified. Sh...more
Waiting For Spring
R.J. Keller

This book was one of Amazon’s Encore books…it just did not get noticed enough and that is quite sad. It told a really great story and the author did it in a spellbinding intense riveting sort of way.

It is the story of Tess. She is a huge disappointment to her parents...and feels that her mother really intensely dislikes her. She has been unfaithful to her husband of 11 ½ years because his belief about having a family suddenly differs from hers. She does something...more
I finished this book the other night... well, umm like 4 am in the morning actually! HAHA. I seriously couldn't put it down! I first started it at the beginning of spring break, but new pretty quickly it was more suited to alone time, where I could totally fall into the story (with no kids distracting me by running around playing ball or begging to go fishing!) I reluctantly put it down till this week.. and wow! Just simply Wow! I loved the raw honesty in this book. The Character development is...more
Tess Dyer not only waits for spring, she is waiting for much else, in this leisurely novel which explores various aspects of contemporary family and parenthood, love and community, and the impact on them of addictions (of various sorts) and self-destructive behavior. Tess’s mood is as bleak, her emotions as frozen as winter in an isolated Maine community, to which she has fled following upon divorce, to try and build something of a new life for herself. There she finds friends – and lovers as we...more
LK Hunsaker
I'm trying to give this book a 5 and would like to give it 4.5. This is a beautiful searching story filled with raw emotions, prevalent cultural issues, family strife, and the blockades of building a true love relationship.

**semi-spoilers ahead**

What prevents a 5 star rating: 1) too much repetition of sex and vulgarity without real cause for it, which makes it feel like shock value more than real Story value, 2) too much of the "waiting" theme, and 3) a weaker ending than the story deserves.

In her debut novel, "Waiting for Spring," R. J. Keller shows a tremendous amount of talent and promise. Superbly plotted and vividly characterized, the inhabitants of this world will remain with the reader far beyond the rather substantial duration of the book. With an exquisite, bold realism, Keller unfurls the lives of these characters to the reader without flinching in the face of their flaws, resulting in a far more recognizable, affecting experience than I anticipated from the description.

Gwenn Wright
It's one of those things you do as an independent writer. You offer to read other people's self-published books and write a review because you need to support each other. Added to that, the author is a friend of a friend of a friend and you kind of virtually know each other, so you want to do the right thing.

So, groaning inside, I offered to read a virtual friend's eBook. The cover art looked dull and not promising and then I remember, my cover art isn't so hot either. Good cover art is difficu...more
I seriously thought that I was going to fall into depression by the time I finished this book. I'm half-kidding. I also thought that I was going to absolutely hate it by the time I'm done, but surprisingly, I don't. Confused? I am, too.

When I started it I was kind of annoyed with Keller's style of writing. There were a LOT of staccato sentences and it kind of pissed me off. But once I got to the second chapter, I got used to it because I think I got drawn in. Drawn in on the lead's world, her fe...more
This is definitely not a book you read as a pick-me-up. It is a sad story about how everything in several peoples lives can go terribly wrong yet they dare to hope for better. The continuous theme of renewal (spring) is multilayered, meaning different things to different characters at various times in their lives/trials.

I very much enjoyed the author's writing style which was honest and descriptive without being flowery. "Waiting for Spring" is full of honest, raw and emotional depictions of re...more
I'll admit that I didn't have very high expectations for this book - I'm not sure why. But I was so completely wrong, it floored me.
The writer's voice is clear throughout the entire story, drawing you in, creating such real characters that I couldn't force myself to go to bed without reading one more page, one more chapter. So many of Tess' thoughts could have come from my own mind, her actions so clearly desperate. You could feel her fear, her insecurity. The way her thoughts mingled with her...more
Dawn Judd
Tagged as vulgar. It catches your attention, right? While I emphatically disagree with the tag, this book should catch your attention. R.J. Keller has a way with words that is both poetic and endearing. The story itself is an enjoyable read that moves the reader easily from scene to scene. The relationship between Tess and her mother left me feeling heartbroken. The emotion is so real and at times I felt myself loathing the woman she called Mom. With each page read, I felt like I really knew Tes...more
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R.J. Keller is the author of WAITING FOR SPRING and the co-host of Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran, an internet talk show that features interviews with authors and publishing professionals. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and currently writes, shoots, and edits episodes of the writer-centric YouTube show, Inside The Writers’ Studio, with...more
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