Together with You by Victoria Bylin


Fascinating study of how a father who determines to be a father travels from point A to final destination of being a father. As Carly says, "It's ... love."

The two main characters have so much in common in that they beat themselves up for what they did in the past. Frankly, this author, Victoria Bylin, seems to think there is merit in "forgiving yourself." I've studied that, and don't believe that is a biblical principle. When you self-recriminate you are buying into one of Satan's guilt tactics and that builds a wall keeping you away from God and His forgiveness. Whoever thinks something you have done is unforgivable is listening to a lie, and is being colossally arrogant thinking that you are better and bigger than God in this forgiveness business.

Setting that aside, I think Bylin did an excellent job with research. I commend her for highlighting the fetal alcohol syndrome to America's women. The lasting effects of it are devastating! Great job in weaving this storyline around a special needs child.

Characters are very well done, While we are subjected to the inside thinking of a 13-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy along with his girlfriend, Bylin does an excellent job of building their characters through the eyes of their father and the nanny, Carly. Superbly done. Joy to read. Brought back memories of my nephews. We do take a trip or two into the head of Ryan's special needs daughter. Quite interesting to get a view of how a child with FAS thinks and assimilates information. (Like I said, this chick did some excellent research.)

The two main characters' development is also well done. A bit on the whiny side when they keep beating themselves up over the past. I get the panic thing with Carly, and the guilt thing with Ryan's adultery, but seriously--enough already with the rehashing of information. There is just so many ways you can beat yourself up and Bylin did it all those many ways. I was black and blue by the last page. However, I did read to the last page.

Ryan's agnosticism was a good relief to Carly's faith. It was a good study in how a believing woman can touch the heart of an unbeliever setting attraction aside. I have seen men "see the light" just because they were attracted to a woman. But this was different in several ways. However, after reading hundreds of books where women authors try to really get inside their male characters' heads, I never sure they actually ring that bell correctly. Men depict male characters so differently than women do, and women depict women characters differently than men do... It's that Venus and Mars thing, I guess. All that to say that Bylin did a pretty good job inside the head of Ryan.

5 of 5 stars. Worth the money!


Ryan thought hiring Carly Mason as nanny was a key move in reconnecting with his children, but will the attraction between them send his plans into chaos?

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