“Nine Years” by Jessica Leed
You would think Sienna Henderson had the perfect life. She has a successful career, a loving family and is engaged to be married. From the outside she appears to have it all together, yet on the inside she is coming undone.
Caught inside a dysfunctional relationship and with her work environment intolerable, she finds herself slipping further from the life she has envisioned.
After reuniting with a man from her past, Sienna’s life is turned upside down in a way that has her questioning everything she has ever known.
Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for free on the Reedsy platform, for an honest and unbiased review.
I like to think I’m a contemporary romance ‘connoisseur’ of sorts, having read many books in this genre. I started reading “Nine Years”, not quite sure what to expect, but Jessica Leed knocked her debut novel out of the park.
A beautiful tale of romance, self-discovery and growth, “Nine Years” follows Sienna Henderson and her plight as she struggles to right the wrongs in her long-term but dysfunctional relationship while trying not to lose more of herself in the process. Things get even more complicated when a past she had let go of resurfaces, only to have her confronting parts of herself she had forgotten were still there.
I think what struck me the most about this novel is how relatable it is. Not all of us have been through the exact same struggles that Sienna faces in the novel but we can all relate, on some level, to the pain of holding onto something so dear to you, even when it starts to destroy you as an individual.
That being said, it is incredibly challenging to write a story of this nature and create people that the reader can emotionally connect to but the author does a wonderful job of crafting a well-rounded set of characters.
There is no concrete villain. There is no good or bad, right or wrong. Although we explore the story through Sienna’s eyes, all the characters are well thought-out and portrayed in a multi-dimensional way, making them more human.
I do feel the pacing of the novel could have been a little faster. Although I am not willing to comment on the necessity of certain plot points (given they might be set up to tie in with the sequel), the novel could have been a little shorter in length to increase the impact and have the story resonate even more with the reader.
All in all, a beautiful story and written in an equally evocative manner, I highly recommend “Nine Years” to fans of the contemporary romance genre. The downside? You’ll have to put in some waiting time for the sequel.
Jessica Leed does a wonderful job delivering with this book.
Relationships are challenging and through Sienna, we explore the many complexities and obstacles that can crop up in one. The question the novel poses is: how far are you willing to go to try and save your relationship? At what point do you stop and save yourself?