Victoria’s Run by Cheryl Holdefer
Cheryl Holdefer crafts a tender tale of love, pain and family in her emotional novel Victoria’s Run. The titular character is a competitive runner and her intense dedication was learned at an early age after a family tragedy. When one experiences pain they may choose to run away, however Victoria chases after a new dream, literally, and figuratively as well, once she learns about all the madness of young love. Her world is large and expansive, much more so than a typical teenager, and it’s her worldly education that ultimately leads her to success, children and a sense of security. However, there is a poorly hidden secret that Victoria must address before she can move on to the next phase of her life.
Victoria’s Run is a story about various kinds of love, each important in their own way in how we are shaped as human beings. Holdefer displays an outstanding sense of how to create empathy for Victoria, but also points out her flaws that will leave the reader shaking their head at times. It’s not hard to feel like Vic is a personal friend and she is certainly not perfect. Holdefer forms a strong bond of family and friendship around her lead, which makes for heartbreaking moments when Victoria reflects on the pain of her past. She seems almost oblivious with her children at times, but only in the sense of how they see her. It’s the mutual love and respect that helps Victoria conceptualize new dreams and a brand new sense of self. The only question is whether she can come to grips with her love life. Cheryl Holdefer’s writing is gentle, so gentle that she uses the adverb “gently” a few too many times. Despite a few areas of purple prose, Holdefer’s words are smooth, realistic and enlightening.
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