I’ve Loved These Days
Perhaps no one would, if the letter in which Abigail reflects on changing times and lost opportunities weren't addressed to Jacqueline Onassis, and the man who would never be the same weren't John F. Kennedy Jr. Put aside all you think you know and jump into the greatest love story the world has never known.
Chris didn’t start towards the ice as I thought he should. “Five years ago, Abigail, we knew two things. We knew that we were better than everyone else thought we were, and we knew that we wanted to be together. Well, we were right about the first thing. Maybe it’s time to come back around to the second one, too.”
“Ms. Phelps, Mr. Dean, I really must insist that you go to the ice now.” The young man was beginning to look as nervous as I felt.
“I know, I know. I know this isn’t the time. I know we need to go skate, and I’m ready. But I just need you to know that no matter what happens – if we win gold, or if we trip over our skates on the way out – I have loved being your partner. But I’m still willing to give it all up to be with you. I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t give up to be with you. I’m still in love with you, Abigail. And after all this time, I can’t really have any doubt that I always will be.”
He put his hand behind my waist and my breath caught in my throat as he pulled me to him. He leaned in until his lips were just inches from mine, and suddenly I was back in Vienna. I felt like the teenage girl I had been the first time Chris kissed me. I wanted him just like I had wanted him then, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how I had managed to resist him for five years.
I put my arms around him to pull him closer, but the spell was broken by the young man with the clipboard, who was getting very angry. “They will be calling your names in thirty seconds. Go! Go, go, go!!”
That did it. The reality finally set in, and Chris and I looked at each other with wide eyes and took off running for the ice together. We got there just as the announcer’s voice called out, “Representing Great Britain, Abigail Phelps and Christopher Dean.”
It was so odd. Chris and I were usually the consummate professionals, yet there we were, getting ready to skate onto the Olympic ice to perform the most dramatic ice dancing performance anyone had ever seen, and we were flushed and suppressing giggles.
We skated to our opening position, center rink, and as we got down on our knees, Chris whispered “I love you” in my ear. In the age of YouTube, you can actually see it if you look closely, but of course no one noticed at the time. But it was all I needed. I was ready to portray the lovers of Bolero.
Ribbon Reviews for I’ve Loved These Days:
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I would be hard-pressed to classify this work of fiction into a category. What a unique and original story. Abby Phelps is a patient suffering “delusions of grandeur” who is seeing a psychologist. He suggests that Abby write down these delusions so they can discuss them. The remainder of the book is the result, Abby’s memoir. She fancies herself an internationally-known figure skater, having won several Olympic gold medals. Her best friend is George Clooney, one of her love interests is JFK, Jr. She stars in a movie with Robert Redford. The author lines up these happenings and their timing with real life so much so that you begin to wonder if there isn’t some truth to the story. I really became invested in Abby’s character. I laughed and shed a few tears as I rooted for her. This really is brilliantly and intriguingly done. I can’t wait to read Book Two of this trilogy to see what “happens” in Abby’s life next. 5 of 5 stars.
Submitted by Karla Nodorft Heller of Avid Reader Book Reviews
Bethany Turner’s I Loved These Days offers a unique story line since the author weaves famous people and events into the plot of a captivating romance novel. Similar to how Forrest Gump matriculates through pivotal moments in history, Abigail Phelps, the book’s delusional main character, catapults herself into high-profile relationships. Comprised of two main components, the novel presents the main character’s memoirs as well as her psychologist’s notes, and since a note from her psychologist precedes the memoirs, the author purposely creates an unreliable narrator. The lack of reliability, though, does not make Abigail any less endearing, and the constant wonderment of Abigail Phelps’ true identity intrigues the reader. While the plot revolves around the big three (as Abigail affectionately calls them): George Clooney, Christopher Dean, and JFK Jr., the book takes place during the 80s and 90s. During those decades, Abigail dazzles the world as an Olympic ice dancer/skater and debuts in an Oscar-winning film. Like a little girl creating imaginary friends and dreaming big, Abigail Phelps fashions a life where she has fame, accomplishments, and romance.
Beyond the plot, the author should be praised for her writing style and her command of the English language. She creates realistic dialogue and emotional encounters between characters, offering scenes with humor, passion, and disappointment. This book, the anchor in an already published trilogy, shows Bethany Turner as a promising new novelist, meaning Mrs. Turner, unlike her protagonist, may achieve fame beyond her imaginary musings.
Submitted by Kimberly B. Van Dyken
What more could you ask for, right? This is a wonderful story line, very touching about sibling love and what happens if someone harms one of them. It was also about letting go of the hate and letting yourself live again after a loss. I loved all the characters, especially Ann and Tyler and their romance, but I think Ed was my favorite. All the characters were well-crafted and detailed. I could relate with Ann as a person who has lost a sibling and both parents, and of marrying a man seven years younger. I know how it feels to be the only one left in your immediate family. So we had a lot in common.
I also love a great mystery and this one didn’t disappoint me. There were just enough twists and turns to keep me guessing. I did find a few missing words and typos but they didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the story. I believe with a little more editing this book could be on the best seller list. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
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Abigail Phelps’ delusions were very well written. Abigail sees a Dr Alex B. Redmond - her psychologist. It is he who asks her to write her delusions down, and this is the result of it. I'll admit it was tough to get into at first however when I got to a certain point, I really enjoyed Abigail’s journey. In her delusions she is a ice skater, ice dancer, Hollywood actress and so much more, that people dream of. Abigail had it all. Even a friendship with George Clooney. Their friendship really got me, as some cannot understand that a male can be good - even best - friends with a female, and this just showed them it can and it is great!
One of my favourite part of this novel would have to be the part where Abigail and Chris first skate on the ice together for the first time. This is the moment where something special happens and their connection is instant. The chemistry they share on the ice together is just spectacular.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting a bit of romance, adventure and the opportunity to go inside Abigail’s mind and experience her delusions as if they were real. 5 out of 5 stars.
Abigail Phelps is a delusional woman. She is encouraged by her psychologist to write down her delusions so that they can be discussed in their sessions. Abigail goes one better and actually writes her memoirs, as she see's them, and has a book deal. Her psychologist reads the book and adds some comments of his own.
Abigail is a beautiful young woman, she knows up and coming film stars, travels the world, meets politicians, sports personalities and becomes famous. WHat is real and what is a fantasy becomes a blur as you read this book. It is an original concept that has been executed very well. While reading you have to remind yourself that you are reading an account of a very delusional, imaginative and clever mind. That the events that have occurred are not true, but in Abigail's mind, they are.
It is quite an odd scenario to read about characters in a book, that are actually real people who are known worldwide. In Abigail's world she is a skater, author, screen writer, friend of film stars, politicians and sportsmen. But when we get down to the basics she is an author with a psychological disorder.
This is a book that will appeal to readers of chick-lit and romance. An original and as far as I am aware, a unique twist on this type of genre. Well worth reading and is one that i would recommend.
The genres of this novel are Fiction,Women’s Fiction and Chick Literature with a touch of romance.
I find that Bethany Turner has written a unique, witty, atypical novel with complex and complicated characters. I enjoyed the descriptions of most of the characters and I appreciate the originality of this story.
We are introduced to Abigail Phelps as two orderlies bring her restrained to Psychiatrist Alec B. Redmond. Abigail tearfully insists that she is threatened by Ted Kennedy and he has ruined her life. Dr. Alec B Redmond makes the diagnosis of a “mixed type delusion disorder.” The Doctor tells Abigail to write down her delusions in story form and keep them separate from her life in reality. What is intriguing is that Abigail has written those stories as a memoir in novel form.
As the Psychiatrist reads Abigail’s book he is surprised. What has him so amazed?
In Abigail’s memoirs, she is an international ice skating sensation. She jumps and dances with real celebrities, and is very close to one.
Abigail also meets and becomes friends with famous actors.
The author makes every detail seem so real, that one can be left to wonder what is real and what is not. I was disappointed that the book ended and wanted to see more. This is a light and enjoyable read. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it!
That is about all I can say as a reviewer. There is no easy way to describe this book. I don’t want to tell you the plot, because it is so surprising and amazing, and a bit troubling, but also uplifting and thoughtful. You have to experience it for yourself- and please do. You will have a wonderful time reading about the unusual protagonist, Abigail, “Abby” Phelps.
Abby tells the story of her life herself, in the first person. She is engaging, captivating, self-deprecating, charming and endearing. She is fragile and strong. The story starts with her commitment for a three-day evaluation at a psychiatric facility. Her psychiatrist takes a special interest in her at the center, and continues to see her weekly for quite a few years. During the course of her treatment the doctor diagnoses her as delusional. But is she? Or does she simply have fantasies? Or is she just a master story teller? Whatever she is, Abby is a keen and accurate observer of men and women and how they become friends and lovers.
Her doctor encourages her to write down her stories, so that he can guide her into believing that they are a product of her personality disorder. Imagine his surprise when she tells him that she has compiled the stories into a memoir that is soon to be published. This is the book we are reading- her memoir, with psychiatric notes inserted by her doctor.
And yes, it all works thanks to the talent of the Author, Bethany Turner. This book is witty, loving, sad and a well-written good read. Enjoy!
What I didn’t expect was a well-plotted story; the chronicle of a madwoman.
Basically, Abigail Phelps is suffering from a delusional disorder in which she is convinced she is famous, and has an ongoing relationship with John Kennedy, Jr. However John’s uncle, Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, opposes the relationship and is actually a threat to her
Written as a memoir with side notes from Dr. Redmond, the story is both compelling and disturbing. As Abigail composes her memoirs the story unfolds against the back drop of the world of ice skating. Beginning with the formation of her life-long friendship with actor George Clooney, moving on to a skating relationship with Olympic Gold Medal Winner Christopher Dean, and culminating in a doomed romance with John Kennedy, Jr. Abigail becomes involved in complex associations with real life people. It’s obvious Turner has done her research. Her descriptions of the characters; their mannerisms and language, is spot on. She captures their identities and adroitly weaves them into her fantasy world. There were moments I forgot I was reading what was supposed to be the memoir of a mentally ill woman. The relationships rang true, the dialogue believable.
I found it particularly interesting that Abigail Phelps believes she has been an Olympic ice skater, a world famous actress, a brilliant writer, and the fiancée of Kennedy. The identities she claims as hers are actually real people; different real people. She is Meryl Streep, Nora Ephron, Meg Ryan, and Jayne Torvill. Incredibly the character Phelps sees no confusion in this. Of course Phelps is supposed to be mentally ill so it is not beyond belief she would see herself in these different identities.
Essentially I’ve Loved These Days is a book about a mentally ill woman writing her memoirs. But that description is much too simple to define this gripping tale. It truly is a book you must read to fully appreciate the intricacies of the plot. More than just an ill-fated romance, it’s unique, creative, and unforgettable. I have already added the next two books in the series to my Kindle. In short, I’m hooked.”