Book Review: The Choice I Made by Cynthia Ellingsen

The more this pandemic drags on, the more light-hearted I want my entertainment. Saying that, it is difficult to move away from that desire for drama. This next book was the perfect blend.

Goodreads Blurb

The Choice I Made by Cynthia Ellingsen

When Julie’s mother falls ill, she has no choice but to return to her parents’ Wisconsin resort, Wood Violet, for the summer. Away from the pressures of their corporate jobs in the city, Julie hopes she and husband Tristan can start to heal after another failed pregnancy.

But, on arriving home, Julie discovers resort life is anything but peaceful. She has to focus more on saving the business than her marriage, and the appearance of childhood sweetheart Chase throws her into disarray.

Then Julie stumbles upon an eighteen-year-old girl hiding out in an abandoned cabin. The girl, Margaret, seems lost in the world, and Julie takes her under her wing. But Margaret has her own reasons for coming to Wood Violet, which threaten to expose a long-buried secret that could tear Julie’s family apart.

As the summer draws to the close, Julie must make a choice: will she return to Chicago with the man she married, or stay and fight for her family with the man she once loved?

Lose yourself in a life-affirming tale about love, betrayal and finding your true home, from the bestselling author of The Lighthouse Keeper. Fans of Mary Ellen Taylor, Barbara O’Neal and This is Not How it Ends will adore Cynthia Ellingsen’s captivating novel.


I have a confession to make before I start. Despite just saying that I am looking for more light-hearted entertainment, I did go into The Choice I Made looking for something a bit more dramatic. When I realised it wouldn’t be, I was a bit disappointed at the start. But I grew to really like this book and I’m happy to be recommending it to you today.

Usually for me, I get pulled in by a storyline or I form some sort of connection to a character. This is the first time I ever enjoyed a book because of its setting. Wood Violet just reminded me of a simpler time, away from the stresses of modern life. Lately, I have been craving that more and more, so I allowed myself to get lost in the resort until I can find the same in real life. It reminded me of holidays in the Irish countryside, where hours of fun were had just playing in nature, when technology and fancy holidays abroad weren’t a thing. It was about appreciating the little things in life and it was great.

Most of the characters in The Choice I Made are great. They really have a sense of comradeship, whether it be friends or family helping each other through tough times. The only character that isn’t very likable was Tristan but, as you will see as you read the book, he was written that way for a reason. I also enjoyed the reflection on the fact that while our hearts might be in the right place, the decisions we make may not always be the right ones.

Overall, The Choice I Made is a nice family drama that will get you through a few hours at home.

The Choice I Made is available to buy now.

I was sent a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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