Hello, bookworms! Welcome to a Book Blitz for Mile Marker 139 by Cynthia Hilston organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
At mile marker 139 along the Ohio Turnpike, a mysterious woman named Shelley Parkinson arrives at 3:14 at the rest area every night. She sits outside at one of the picnic tables, her fragile hands clutching one cigarette after another. Troubled people swirl around her, battling their own sorrows.
Gruff old janitor Mike Popkins works third shift at the facility and has been lost since his wife died, cutting himself off from his only son and going through the motions of his job. Idealistic young Sarah Wilcox whips up drinks at the happening new coffee shop at the rest stop, but her mind whips of dreams of traveling the world and living the life her late grandpa did as he drank a coffee on all corners of the globe. Heartbroken middle-aged trucker Russ Jacobs would rather spend long hours on the road than fall in love again. They all befriend Shelley. Each one desires something different, but none of them know why she haunts the rest area.
Unexpected death, disease, and accidents force Mike, Sarah, and Russ to make hard decisions to move forward, ripping them from their pasts. Can these three motley friends find healing in their own lives and help a woman who says she doesn’t need anyone, even as her brokenness spills onto them?
Edition: Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Publication Date: January 18th 2020
Four broken souls converge at a rest area called Mile Marker 139.
They are drawn together, support each other and found the strength to move forward once again.
The moment when I first read the synopsis, I got a hunch this would be a sombre yet a great, engaging read. I have always loved a good, human saga and this book, Mile Marker 139 proved itself to be right up my alley – correction – so much more by going far beyond my expectations.
I honestly don’t know how or where to begin my review – simply put, I love this book for its entirety and there’s almost nothing I can fault in this book.
This is not a book that you expect huge plot-twists or nail-biting drama. This is a poignant, heartbreaking, yet a strong, soul-purifying human drama that strikes a chord with you just like a thrown stone creates undulating waves on the surface of a lake. Not tidal waves, but quiet and far-reaching waves slowly work its way up to the core of your heart.
The writing is evocative and powerful yet completely devoid of any ostentatious dramatic effects, and it flows effortlessly to narrate this delicate, bittersweet drama. The three characters who are somewhat drawn to Shelly due to the sadness she exudes, generates a very emotional and engaging drama and had me in its clutches, almost making this book un-putdownable. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s not a big, major plot but I got so invested in all of them and their stories that the development in the later part of the book almost threw me into a state of near-heartbreak, had me stunned in shock and suspense. Talk about the power of story-telling. My hat is totally off to the author not to mention her story-crafting.
I don’t think I need to reiterate how much I adored this story, but what I particularly loved about this book is author’s honesty and integrity in the depiction of life.
All those four main characters are battered and wounded by the hard reality of life. They have their own heavy luggage and pains, and simply manage to get by each day. Some are almost resigned while others are still reeling from the pains and griefs and not sure what to do with their life.
Ups and downs abound, and life is never easy or plain-sailing. Sure, there are depictions where their lives seem to be looking up which put a smile on my face but there comes the downhills that plunge each character into deeper abyss of uncertainty. I found this depiction quite authentic and honest, and I appreciated the author for not painting the picture all rosy and golden because we all know it’s never like once you hit the low point, it’s only looking up. No, that’s not the way it is at all, or is it?
I’d very much like to save the plot for you all to enjoy so I will say no more, but I want to urge all of you, or anyone who enjoys good quality human drama to pick up this book and read it to see what you think. Not only is this a fantastic drama of pain, grief, and hope but it also makes you want to gas the floor and drive to a rest area – where it may be – and do some people watching, putting yourself in the similar if not the same situation where the story takes place; Mile Marker 139 – a rest area where people keep coming and going on their travels without a least care in the world while the four main characters with broken souls found hope and friendship once again.
This was my first Cynthia Hilston but this book unarguably left a lasting impact on me.
I will definitely look to reading more from this author and cannot wait to see what comes next!
This cover looks too simple and not very much eye-catching (in my personal opinion), but don’t let it fool you, because what lies underneath the simple cover is a powerful, evocative story that will keep you engaged till the last page. Trust me for once and just – read it and you shall see.
Standing ovation worthy 5 pancakes go to this book and I thank the author and the publisher for generously providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Visit her website at www.cynthiahilston.com for more information.
In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.
Other Social Media Links:
Thanks for stopping by for my blog stop for Mile Marker 139 by Cynthia Hilston book blog tour.
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts and if this post piqued your interest, click the purchase links above and get your copy!
Thanks for reading as always, and I’ll see you in my next post!