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The Words Between Us

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  4,690 ratings  ·  742 reviews
Robin Windsor has spent most of her life under an assumed name, running from her family's ignominious past. She thought she'd finally found sanctuary in her rather unremarkable used bookstore just up the street from the marina in River City, Michigan. But the store is struggling and the past is hot on her heels.

When she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the m
Paperback, 358 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Erin Bartels Hi Karen,

It is categorized that way because of who the publisher is. There is a secondary character whose faith plays a role in her relationship with …more
Hi Karen,

It is categorized that way because of who the publisher is. There is a secondary character whose faith plays a role in her relationship with the main character, but I don't think you'll find it problematic. Christianity is not a theme in the book.

Thanks for the question!

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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,690 ratings  ·  742 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
FOUR in the name of love for the living souls of dead poet society and for my oh captain , dear captain, our fearful journey is about to begin because I loved this lyrical, romantic, unforgettable 20 years long love story’s rekindling by borrowed books and paid poems STARS!

I could give five stars to this book. You ask me why, I tell you the listed reasons. But I must emphasize neither author nor publishers sent me boxes of Chardonnay and Sprinkle cupcakes to like this book. (I could honestly say
Barbara White
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE WORDS BETWEEN US is one of the most beautiful novels I've read, one in which every sentence carries power. Robin is a feisty young teen, a reader and a poet, who grows into a woman determined to defy a legacy of scandal and tragedy as she attempts to forge her own path in life and love. Told through a dual timeline, the plot keeps its secrets until the final pages. With sweeping themes about the power of language and the search for salvation, this is a book to savor and share. ...more
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Let's start with the obvious, this cover is gorgeous. Now let's talk about the story inside this wonderful cover.
Where do I start it's a quick read and a fun romantic read.
A used book store, books and more books. Oh to be an owner of a book store.
This story seemed so real and the characters like real friends. The book references were so much fun. I loved the mention of so many great classics of books that I have enjoyed over the years.
Bartals has a 5 star book in The Words Between Us that every
Shawn Smucker
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Erin Bartels has created a story that feels more like a memory, something I lived, than a piece of fiction. If you are the kind of person who finds meaning and life in the written word, then you'll find yourself hidden among these pages. ...more
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Revell and the author for an advanced copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Words Between Us
By: Erin Bartels

*REVIEW* 📚📚📚📚
The Words Between Us is first and foremost a book about books. It's a bookworm's dream. There are so many references to classic literature and poetry, and I adored all of them. The main character, Robin, has had a difficult life because of her parents and their actions. Since the age of 14, she has essentially been hiding. She hides from reality inside of
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Books, books, books, and one bookworm. Well, quite a few bookworms and one from Robin's past.

Hiding since she was fourteen from a scandal that her jailed parents were involved in caused Robin to have no confidence and become a recluse.

We get a glimpse into Robin‘s life as a child before the scandal as well as present day. Because of this scandal Robin had to live with her grandmother in another state where she met Peter who loved books too and shared books with her. They became good friends unti
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: michigan-books
I hardly know where to start with this review. The book is so beautifully written that I can't really convey my feelings about it except to tell you that this is a MUST READ! I finished reading this book over a week ago and I am still thinking about it - to the point that I haven't been able to start another book. It's been a long time since I've had that kind of book hangover.

Robin is a teenager at the beginning of this book who is sent to live with her grandmother due to a scandal that happene
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Vividly drawn and told in expertly woven dual timelines, THE WORDS BETWEEN US is a story about a woman who has spent years trying to escape her family’s scandals and the resilience she develops along the way. Erin Bartels’s characters are a treat: complex, dynamic, and so lifelike I half-expected them to climb straight out of the pages.
Danielle Urban
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels is a deep, thought provoking story. The themes are powerfully explored here.  Courage, family, and love thrived. The main protagonist had a lot on her plate. Her father being jailed for horrendous crimes and later executed. The emotional battle for the young woman was difficult. But she kept going. Her life is renewed yet the past of her family's secrets still crush her. Too much weight, and then life sends a way of cracking that. Opening up wounds that never ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
The cover is simply gorgeous. One of my favorites of the year.

In Erin Bartel's sophomore novel, she shows her versatility. While The Words Between Us has multiple timelines like her debut, the story line is rather different.

Readers get to know main character Robin in both the present day thread and the one from about 20 years prior when her dad went to prison. The opening drew me in quickly. I loved the high school age banter between Robin and Peter and the sweet development of their friendship.
Alyssa Fabik
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! What a book! An advanced read copy from the publisher. It had five star rating and I was a skeptic but it was amazing!! I would highly recommend this book!! It was humorous, romantic, tragic and more all in one. Plus I read it in 9 days with a crazy schedule not made for reading.
Better Read than Dead
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sooooo cute. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, just dying to see what happened.
It had a kind of hallmark movie feel to it. It was interesting, there were twists and cliff hangers, with a happy feel good ending.
The characters were depicted really well and it was super interesting to see them grow up over the course of the chapters.
Sometimes novels that switch back and forth between the past and the present can feel choppy or messy, but not this one! It set up the climax really well,
Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m conflicted with this book! I loved the “then” parts but totally skipped over the “now” parts. There was a lot going on and some of it I felt was just unbelievable. I loved all the book references thought but mostly the book was just meh.
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Just finished the ARC & highly recommend it to book lovers and anyone else who loves a good story...beautifully written.
Hallie (Hallie Reads)
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it

With a cover like that, how could I, a book lover, not read The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels?

Though Robin Windsor feels safe in her quaint used bookstore in River City, Michigan, it is only a matter of time before her past finds her. She begins receiving books from a long-ago friend, and her past and her present intertwine for a story of sweet friendship, family secrets, and the powerful effect of words.

Another superb book from Bartels, The Words Between Us is an emotional, thought-provok
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
Wow. This book is so well-written. I was captivated from the beginning and didn't put it down until I finished it- the blessing of having half a Saturday free! It was fascinating to see Robin's point of view as a 14 year old and present day adult, her misguided perceptions and the fallout over years from the traumatic events that changed and shaped her life. I appreciated that the alternating then and now format didn't feel like flashbacks, but rather two very connected stories told simultaneous ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I confess I am a sucker for a beautiful cover and this one grabbed me right away. However, Erin Bartels' new novel, The Words Between Us, is every bit as fascinating as the cover.

Robin Windsor has been trying to escape the association between her and her infamous parents ever since they were incarcerated. At that time, she was sent to live with a grandmother under an assumed name through a program to protect her and keep her safe while her high profile parents were tried and convicted. She met P
Christine Indorf
Oct 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
A 4.5 for me. I love this story. Robin family was put in jail and her father is up for execution and her mother is in jail for helping him. Robin starts a new life with her poor Grandmother. There she meet Peter and they start a journey of book reading and love. When Robin feel like he betrayed her she runs. Years later and starting a new life as a bookshop owner she begins to wonder if that is the life she want now and it doesn't help when Peter starts sending her the books they read. Will she ...more
Create With Joy
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wasn’t sure what I would find when I picked up The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels, but what I discovered was a beautifully written, evocatively told story about a young woman named Robin Windsor who is trying to escape from the sins of her monstrous father and the pain of her past.

She’s built a new life for herself, living under an assumed name and working in a used bookstore – but when she begins to receive a series of books in the mail – books that she shared as a teen with a boy named Pet
*This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group through Interviews & Reviews.*

I expected a deep thread of beauty of this book, and received much more than an emotional story. This story is filled with human nature—the good and bad of people—but both is shown in a way that makes you understand the choices through the years. The mystery aspect was especially intriguing.

Robin's pain and hurt was written so well, pulling me into how she felt. We've all been hurt by something or someone in
Janet Ferguson
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, fiction
I was intrigued from the first line of this beautifully-written novel, so much so that I was able to set aside some of the portions that felt a bit unrealistic and finish it within 24 hours. It's published by a wonderful Christian publisher, and the story is clean, but there's not actually much about Christian faith if you're looking for that. I really enjoyed reading it, and the author's love of literature is apparent. ...more
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, this was the kind of book that drew me in right away and kept me invested in the pages. Erin Bartels is a new-to-me author, so for her to completely immerse me in her world was amazing! Being an avid reader, the idea of this taking place in a bookstore and the passion her main character Robin has for books is something I can totally relate to. They are more than words on a page to me, they have life, and meaning and breathe that little something into my very being. It’s almost as if t ...more
 The Flipped Page (Susan K)
Clean read, while romantic elements, more of a mystery
This one sticks with you. I am still rolling around the words, the situations, the novels, the back and forth between past and present, and the people.
Robin's story, mixed between her past and present, the many elements that made her who she is, and have held her 'captive' in her present, her struggles, her hopes, her heart, this all was so aptly portrayed and her present became something where she could work through her past, and have hope
Nora St Laurent
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked from the first sentence, “Most people only die once. But my father is not must people. He is a monster.”

I instantly cared for Robin Windsor and her situation, as the novel starts out in current time with Norman Windsor on death row for something his daughter Robin couldn’t imagine him doing. She was a teenager when her life blows up with no hope of recovery.

The media had a field day chasing her down for information. She is trying to hide in plain sight. It’s difficult because her f
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
It is said that truth is stranger than fiction. And yet, I've read many fictional stories that fly beyond what is realistic and believable from a human emotion capacity. There is a nebulous space between truth and fiction that balances the two in a believable yet compelling way. This novel is a rare example of that delicate equilibrium.

The characters in this story couldn't be more authentic. They're messy, passionate, and emotional. They're real. Robin, Sarah, Peter, Dawt Pi... everyone is refle
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Words Between Us was a very interesting story, and one that is different than the books that I usually gravitate to. The cover drew me in and the book blurb made me want to give this novel a try.

I liked the way the book spent time in both the present and the past. And although I liked this approach and the way events slowly played out as I read, sometimes it dragged a bit for me. I still enjoyed uncovering what exactly had happened in Robin’s life.

The Words Between Us referenced classic lite
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and well written with lyrical prose and a unique premise. Alternates effortlessly between past and present and touches on a little bit of everything: scandal, tragedy, heartbreak, and mystery. Readers will fall in love with this book and it’s gorgeous cover! ❤️📖
Heidi Chiavaroli
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful writing, beautiful story. A unique dual timeline with a super-satisfying ending. Having read both of these author's amazing books, I'm hooked and looking forward to the next. ...more
Chautona Havig
Jun 23, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever seen a book, fallen in love with the cover or the synopsis, bought it, and let it slowly get buried until you forgot about it? This book is why you go find those gems and read them. Today. In fact, if this is one of them, you should ignore this review and just go grab that book and get started. You won't regret it.

Heartbreaking, inspiring, infuriating, unexpected--where do the descriptive words for this gripping novel end? They don't, I suppose. A cautionary tale of the power of pe
Anne Rogers
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Catalogue copy: Robin Windsor has spent most of her life under an assumed name, running from her family’s ignominious past. She thought she’d finally found sanctuary in her rather unremarkable used bookstore. But the store is struggling and the past is hot on her heels.
When she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the morning of her father’s scheduled execution, Robin is thrown back to the long-lost summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. But why would Pete
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ERIN BARTELS is the award-winning author of We Hope for Better Things, The Words between Us, All That We Carried, The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water, and Everything Is Just Beginning.

Erin lives in the capital city of a state that is 40% water, nestled somewhere between angry protesters on the Capitol lawn and couch-burning frat boys at Michigan State University. And yet, she claims it is real

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