Nicole Benson is a self-made woman. She put herself through school, sacrificing marriage and children for her career. In the summer of 1997, at the age of 35, she finally graduated with a Ph.D. from NYU, but her life is thrust into chaos when her father, the only person she's ever leaned on emotionally, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. After fifteen years in New York City, Nicole leaves everything and everyone she knows to teach for a year in Bradford, Pennsylvania to be close to her father in nearby Buffalo. Now, trapped in tiny Bradford, she has never felt more alone in her life. . . until she meets Tom Ryan. At 44, Tom represents what Nicole longs to be: settled, secure, and clear about his purpose and direction in life. Emotionally scarred, he and his wife of 23 years survived the death of their daughter to leukemia. Tom and Nicole's story begins as a journey of self-discovery for both of them but turns to bittersweet tragedy when their friendship becomes love. Nicole risks offering what she has never given before, her heart; and Tom has never felt happier or more conflicted when he falls in love for the second time in his life. Their lives become intertwined and changed forever when they both must face the most difficult decision of their lives.
The Eighth Wonder is an emotional, heart-tugging journey into the lives of two people, Nicole and Tom. Both from different walks of life, it's fate when their lives intersect. It's not a happy journey at first, for either of them.
Nicole, never marrying or having children, has put her career first. She's always had her father as her crutch for when she needed him, as her mom left years ago. But when her dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it's her turn to be there for him.
Tom is married but his marriage has been struggling for awhile now since the loss of their daughter to leukemia. He makes no excuses for his behavior, abhorrent though it may be. Cheating is never a good thing, but what starts out as friendship between him and Nicole soon turns into something more.
Told through flashbacks in both perspectives, the writing is lyrical, yet poignant. Young has created memorable, realistic characters that really touch an emotional chord on a tiered level. Life is full of choices, and the output of those choices will change not only your life, but others around you. A unique love story with a surprising ending, The Eighth Wonder is an emotionally charged read!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.