Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Book Review: The Eighth Wonder by Kimberly S. Young

The Eighth Wonder
by Kimberly S. Young
Author House, January 31, 2012
Available in: Print, Kindle,  & Nook, 208 pages

The Eighth Wonder is a charming love story about the meeting of two grievously wounded hearts that connected for a season that was as intense as it was brief.  Two lives lived in confusion and desperation crossed paths and wakened each the other to hope and clarity so healing could begin.

Nicole is 35 freshly graduated with her doctorate in political science and beginning a year as visiting professor at a small college in rural Pennsylvania in order to be near her dying father.  Tom is 44 and his 23 year marriage is struggling under the crushing grief of the loss of a young daughter six years earlier.   Nicole has spent the last two decades focused on her ambitions and avoiding committed relationships as her attempt to deal with her mother's abandonment. Tom and his wife Rose have withdrawn into separate and silent shells unable to communicate their grief, unable to move on.

When they meet, the attraction is immediate and intense but they each dutifully resist at first for what good could come of such a forbidden love?  Truly the possibility of it degenerating into a tawdry scandal spreading heartbreak and chaos among many lives was ever present but the delicate touch of Kimberly Young keeps one believing in the purity of their love--a purity priced very high.

From the Publishers:

A modern Bridges of Madison County, Nicole Benson, 35, is an ambitious college professor with dreams of teaching at an Ivy-League school until she meets Tom Ryan, 44, married 23 years and shattered after his daughter's death from leukemia. A first-generation in her family to go to college,  Nicole is a self-made woman. She put herself through school, sacrificing marriage and children for her career. In the summer of 1997, she finally graduates with a Ph.D. from NYU, but her life is thrust into chaos when her father is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Abandoned by her mother as a girl, her father is all she has.

After fifteen years in New York City, Nicole leaves everything and everyone she knows to teach for a year in rural Bradford, Pennsylvania to be close to him 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 are empty nesters with an older son away at college and struggle to grieve together after the death of their daughter. Tom and Nicole's story begins as a journey of self-discovery for both of them but turns to bittersweet romance 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.

What they are saying:

"Kimberly Young has constructed an amazing first novel about unexpected love and the strange chemistry of May-November romances. This is no bodice-ripper or sappy saga of moonstruck entrancement.  Her characters are deep, and the reader roots for them." -John M. Hanchette, Pulitzer Prize-winner and St. Bonaventure University journalism professor

" I was sucked right into the story that unfolded in the Eighth Wonder.  After a few paragraphs, I was hooked. It all became "real" just like the love that never died between two special people - a great reminder that the complexities of life only become complex because we make them so. And that each and every day there is an opportunity to love and be loved in a secret place called the heart."- Jacqueline Dunkle, Reviewer

"This is a must read story. I just finished reading it and could not put it down. This is one story you won't soon forget."- Bob C., Reviewer

"For those of us who live in northern Pennsylvania, The Eighth Wonder evokes a sense of place and home. Nicole Benson and Tom Ryan are finely drawn characters who seem real, like people we know or would like to know. The story is both realistic and sweet. I was drawn into the story from the very first page. For readers who do not live in northern PA, close to the Kinzua bridge, it is just a great romantic novel. Perhaps it will make you want to come and visit our beautiful area."- Teacherlady42, Reviewer

"The author has woven a wonderful human story set in my part of western Pennsylvania near the Kinzua Bridge. She touches all the human emotions and draws the reader in.  The Eighth Wonder is a can't put it down love story."- John, Reviewer

"I am not one to read love stories.  This is not the love story I am familiar with. The characters were easy to relate to. I saw some of myself in Nicole - professional woman in a small town knowing she is capable of more but committed to family and content with her choices. When I found myself shouting at my e-reader about the decisions being made by the characters and when I started to cry toward the end, I knew the author had me. The raw emotion she was able to elicit with such incredible characters shocked me. I didn't realize I was as committed to the characters and the story as I was. That is a testament to very good writing and plot development."- Pwhoffmann, Reviewer

"Ms. Young did a great job with this book, developing the character's so thoroughly that I felt like I personally knew them. The descriptiveness of the scenes at the cabin made me feel like I was right there.  I definitely found this an enjoyable read and hope that Ms. Young keeps writing novels!"- Colleen, Reviewer

Kimberly Young is a licensed psychologist, an author, and an internationally-known speaker on Internet addiction. In 1995, she founded the Center for Internet Addiction and since then she has written numerous articles on the topic including four books, Caught in the Net, Tangled in the Web, Breaking Free of the Web, and Internet Addiction: A Handbook for Evaluation and Treatment.

She is a professor at St. Bonaventure University and her work has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, Time, and Newsweek, and she has appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and ABC World News Tonight. She has written creatively on and off since she was eight-years-old, mainly working on poems and short stories. While recovering from retina re-attachment eye surgery, she was homebound for several months and decided to pursue her creative writing more seriously. The Eighth Wonder is her first novel.

Author Website:

Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts:

2 tell me a story:

Teddy Rose 2/06/2013 9:39 PM  

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I am so glad you enjoyed The Eighth Wonder. I adored it.

Center for Internet Addiction Recovery 2/13/2013 6:11 AM  

Hello Joy,

Thank you for taking time to review The Eighth Wonder. As my first novel, it is exciting to hear what others feel when they read my story.


Kimberly Young

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