The Never-Ending Journey
A short story, at 132 pages, about three women who take a journey to Europe had the potential to be an excellent source of entertainment, yet I found it lacking in most areas. The Journey written by Diane L. Rogers begins with Rosemary Griffin and her cheating, soon to be EX, husband David fighting. David, who has found love in his much younger co-worker Barb, uses the words, “It just….happened,” as a way to explain his two month long affair. In his point-of-view, David relays how he felt neglected by Rosemary. Early on in their relationship Rosemary found out she would never be able to have children and because David, who was opposed to the idea of adoption, felt the stirrings of jealousy and neglect when Rosemary devoted her attention to her students. As a kindergarten teacher, Rosemary thinks of her students as her own children, so she automatically loves them something fierce.
Soon after David exits the picture, and Rosemary drinks herself into depression, Joy Applegate, Rosemary’s best friend loses her husband in a tragic accident. Joy, also a schoolteacher, reeling from the loss of her soul mate Kyle, is devastated by the absence of her other half. Rosemary and Joy bond over their shared loss of husbands. Rogers does well enough to explain the circumstances, but I found her to lack in depth and emotion. While reading these short sections, I was hoping to make a connection with these women, yet I did not. Rogers did not do enough to emotionally connect the reader to the characters.
Another character, Kristen Wheeler is the third and final woman to join the “journey” on page 7. Kristen, also a school teacher, joins Joy and Rosemary on staff. Her age, which Rosemary despises at first, is never revealed, and neither is Joy’s. Rosemary, who is 35, is the only character to which Roger’s describes in greater detail. For this reason, I once again found it difficult to connect with these women.
The Journey, which was cleverly titled, takes the trio on a European vacation of a lifetime. Each of these women: Rosemary, Joy, and Kristen find love and healing as they open their minds and souls to the brightness and brilliance of European culture. Rogers does an excellent job of describing France’s culture, especially the art and dining aspects. At times I felt as if I were in the art museums with the women… I just wish I knew who these women were.
Rosemary, whom from the beginning had the biggest (and most detailed) story line, erases David from her heart and mind when she finds her match. Soon into their French retreat, Rosemary meets and falls in love with Jacques Benoir, a tall, dark-haired, blue eyed art museum manager. Jacques quickly (blink of an eye speed) sweeps Rosemary off her feet, and the two of them spend the rest of The Journey madly in love. Soon after, Joy and Kristen find their matches in Tom and Jay respectively.
To conclude, The Journey was a hard book to feel anything for…, and I say this only because I had no real sense of time, nor did I have any sense of who these women were. Sure, Rogers briefs the readers on the generals, but the heart and soul of these women was lacking. Rosemary, Joy, and Kristen’s journey through love happened so fast I found it hard to believe. However, the cultural aspects of The Journey are written in fine detail, and I enjoyed the ‘scenery’ aspects.
I have read many great reviews of The Journey, so to each-his-own, but for this reviewer, take this book with as little as it offers.
Until next time,
Reeling from the shock of her husband’s infidelity, Rosemary puts aside her own pain to help her best friend cope with the sudden death of her husband. Alone for the first time in fifteen years, Rosemary and Joy must accept they’re no longer part of a couple, but moving on with their lives is not easy. When Kristen, a young, energetic new teacher invades their space, she forces them to face their situations, and things start to change. When Rosemary and Joy join Kristen on a frivolous trip to Europe, what they learn surprises even them. Join Rosemary, Joy, and Kristen on a journey of discovery as they explore the beauty and history of Europe, and find love along the way…