Read In the Mirror by Kaira Rouda Online


If you knew you may die soon, what choices would you make?Jennifer Benson has it all: a successful career, a perfect husband, two kids and abundant friendships. The only problem is she may be dying. In the Mirror is the realistic love story about a woman facing a deadly illness, and her loves past and present. It's a story that unfolds with a delightful blend of humor andIf you knew you may die soon, what choices would you make?Jennifer Benson has it all: a successful career, a perfect husband, two kids and abundant friendships. The only problem is she may be dying. In the Mirror is the realistic love story about a woman facing a deadly illness, and her loves past and present. It's a story that unfolds with a delightful blend of humor and poignancy, ringing true in the heart of anyone who has ignored a warning of her own....

Title : In the Mirror
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 978098495163
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 214 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In the Mirror Reviews

  • Judy Collins
    2019-03-21 05:56

    Kaira Rouda does a superior job with an emotionally charged subject, handling it with delicacy and sensitivity. A beautifully written novel of one woman's loves; both past and present. Would highly recommend IN THE MIRROR to those families experiencing cancer, or other illnesses, as would be able to relate to the treatments, struggles, turmoil, and emotions. When you look at the front cover of IN THE MIRROR, you see a woman looking in her rear view mirror, which hints the character would be looking back. The cover is very fitting for Jennifer’s look at her past life, as she is presented with the ending of her present life. While reading, IN THE MIRROR, my mom, age 82, very fit and young-looking, was undergoing her first chemo treatment (mixture of eight pills a day, and chemo drip every two weeks), for colon and secondary liver cancer. While I was readingabout this young mother and her daily struggles with cancer, and Ralph the other strong character in the book, I was thinking how insightful and therapeutic, to learn what is actually going on inside the cancer’s victim’s mind. Jennifer is a young wifeand mother, dying with an aggressive form of breast cancer. While in Shady Valley (hospice center) she is receiving therapy to help make her life as comfortable as possible, and develops a close strong friendship with another patient, Ralph. I loved their relationship as so endearing-- as they face their illness with a strong bond, with intense mixture of love, pain, hurt, sarcasm, and humor. The first part of the bookis preparing and planning for a life party (before the funeral) to celebrate her life with her family and friends, as she grasps for every bit of life she can. Jennifer feels distant from her husband Henry, and her family. Her former boyfriend, Alex comes back into the picture and she gets swept away in this relationship, as it feels fresh and allows her to escape from her sad sick life. Henry does not accept this friendship, and Jennifer is torn with her feelings between her husband and her ex-boyfriend. While she is fighting for a cure, trying to keep her business afloat, spending time with her family and kids, fighting with her sister, some other crazy family members, and maintain her sanity – her romantic relationship with Alex gets a little out of hand; however, changes the way Henry sees his sick wife. Loved the funny quirky warningsas introduction for each chapter. The characters (Pastor Barker was full of inspiring words) were well developed, and was immediately drawn into the engaging bittersweet emotional story, as my mom was taken back to the hospital with heart issues on her third day of treatment, and is currently still in the hospital undergoing a number of tests to determine if her heart can take this strong toxic medication. While at the hospital,reading this emotionally-packed story, found it quite comforting when dealing with intimate feelings, thought processes, and sadness with some really funny humorous lines, we need when trying to deal, or make sense of life’s curve balls. This incredible book of hope and regret,demonstrates how patients sometimes feel more comfortable around friends or strangers, versus their family members. As like my mom,the main character tries to appear strong so as not to worry the family and holds a lot of emotion inward. My dad also has stage one leukemia, complaining mom is spending more time alone with her thoughts in another room. We all are guilty of looking at an illness or the disease and forget the real person behind the disease. IN THE MIRRORwas an inspiring novel and realistic look at how important it is to the patient to feel good about oneself and develop independent strong relationships. This book has helped mewith the way I approach her care with perspective, allowing her to spend more time talking about her childhood, teen years, and her earlier life -- the good memories and times, versus focusing on her current treatment and the future. Looking forward to reading more from this author--have already purchased HERE, HOME, HOPE!JDCMustReadBooksA special thank you to Real You Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

  • Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
    2019-03-24 22:38

    5 Words: Cancer, hope, shocking, emotional, why?I don't know if I will ever be in the right frame of mine to read a "cancer book" as there's just something which is so heart-breaking right from the start. I think it's because the characters are just all quite wonderful. Jennifer Benson in In The Mirror was no exception, and I loved her.Jennifer was such a strong character all of the way through the book, even when it didn't seem that way on the surface. Sure, she could be a little selfish and spend a lot of time dwelling on the past, but these were faults that made her character all the more strong.This book made me wonder WHY? Why me, you, him, her, now, then, ever... Why do bad things happen to good people and the shittiest people seem to get off scot-free? It's also very much about looking in the mirror, reflecting on your past.I think that the ending could have been better - it was the tiniest bit of a let down after the rest of the book.

  • Amy Robinson
    2019-03-23 21:55

    I hated this book. I hated the main character.......I kept thinking "Is it ME? Did I miss like, 30 pages where it was outlined where I was supposed to LIKE HER?" (lets be honest. We all know Cancer Patients who handle themselves with grace and dignity. Not this woman)(borderline spoiler) I suppose she passed away in the end? I didn't even care. I hope Henry takes up with the Nurse and they live happily ever after. This book was the equivalent of a really bad 1993 Lifetime movie...the REAL Cheesy ones where Alexandra Paul is the 'star'. (Alex the ex boyfriend and the sister were LAUGHABLE) I gave it the lone star that I did because of characters like the Hubs, the Dad and Ralph. Comically bad. I finished it on my birthday. Almost ruined the day altogether. "Five days Left" Now THAT is a BOOK.

  • Marga
    2019-03-26 03:49

    "We're all going to die sometime. Some of us just gets unlucky sooner."Hmm. This was a good read but there are some parts that kind of dragged and I found it hard to get into the story at first.Jennifer has cancer. Okay, I don't remember what kind of cancer it was but she had it after giving birth to her second child. She was confined in a hospital and is frequently visited by her loved ones. One day, she then came up with an idea to have a "going-away" party and she invited everyone who had become a part of her life.."If you don't feel worthy of love, if something is missing, or something horrible is thrust upon you, it's easy to doubt your worth."One thing I didn't like was Jennifer's constant wallowing in her own self-pity. She always tries to find faults and not blessings. But what do I know, right? Maybe I could really just understand what she feels when I actually have the same situation she's in. Anyway, she has a great family and so many friends around her. Some people doesn't even have that but she's still lonely. Wouldn't you if you feel like you're struggling to live but the world just seems fine? "I hate it when I do this," Henry said, wiping his eyes self-consciously. "I feel like a fern.""A fern? What do you mean you feel like a fern?""You know, all moist and drippy and stuff," he said, beginning to smile.I liked that the book portrays Jennifer's selfishness, her need to escape. Some cancer books just have MCs that just have like an immediate will to change and be good but that doesn't happen in life, not really. I think they're entitled or more likely to be selfish, to feel despair and depression first. To seek attention. But then, they'll realize that the more important, precious things are really just within their reach.The ending. Uhh what the heck was that? There's no sense of closure and I find myself wondering what that last sentence exactly means.What I learned:-Some things from the past are just best left behind there.-Don't expect someone to love you when you don't actually love yourself. **ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchanged of an honest review.

  • Cindy
    2019-04-19 05:45

    When I requested this book from NetGalley, I thought it sounded good but I was also a bit afraid that it would be dark and depressing. But it wasn't at all. Yes, it is packed full of emotions, some sad, some happy and they all will tear at your heart strings.I found this story to be one that stays with you, meaning that it will make you think. You will put yourself in the main characters position and wonder what you would do and how you would accept the fact that you might or might not beat cancer.All of the characters were perfect or I should say not so perfect. Very realist and true to life personalities and reactions. I thought this was a beautifully written book. I'm glad that I didn't pass up this touching book.This is the first novel that I have read by the author and I definitely plan on adding her other books to my "to read" list. I would highly recommend this very moving book to anyone.* I received this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Tamara
    2019-03-31 04:32

    The first half of the book; three, three and a half starsThe second half of the book; two starsOverall; two stars because THE SECOND HALF WAS TOO DAMN FRUSTRATING!!!So guys, apparently having cancer and feeling lonely totally justifies cheating...Meet Jennifer. She has cancer. Her journey through cancer, her feelings, her worries, her self-pitying moments made the first half amazing. She had the perfect marriage and the husband but ever since the cancer she feels like all the passion her husband felt towards her was lost. She thinks her husband doesnt love or desire her anymore. like she is loved or desired by her husband, Henry any more. Jennifer needs like she needs to escape. And that's when we met her ex-boyfriend Alex. Through the book, Jennifer keeps talking about her past. I liked reading about her relationship with Henry but Alex's parts really made me hate her (in the second half of the book)because I realized what a self-centered bitch she was:So...Alex and Jen are high-school sweet-hearts. When she is in college Jen takes advantage of the fact Alex and her go to separate schools, even if he doesnt. She makes her roommates lie for her and has four college boyfriends. All of this of course is justifed by Jen telling Alex she wants to explore other relatiopships and so should Alex. Even though, Alex never agrees on that and never would cheat on her, Jen keeps cheating but at the end of the day, when summer comes she goes back to Alex's arms and he always takes her back. Their whole relationship is based on Jennifer being a self-centered bitch and Alex no matter what forgiving her. SO... not a perfect relationship. All they had was passion and Alex clearly loved her more than she ever loved him but...Jennifer is just one self-centered bitch (as in I reliazed 40% in)Enter Henry.Jennifer meets with Henry while dating Alex. Immediately falls in love with him and lusts after him even though he has a fiance. After a while, she dumps Alex, calls Henry, they start dating. They are sooo perfect for each other, they get married, have two kids but then Jen gets cancer and all the passion they felt for each other goes away because of the illness. Jen starts to worry about little things (which I found very realistic); 'Why Henry doesnt kiss me anymore? Where the all passion go? Did he replace me already?'. She starts to feel lonely. Even though, Henry is there for her physically, he isnt there for here emotionally. But Jen wants to be wanted.So when the ex-boyfriend Alex shows up looking to her eyes, wanting and desiring her still, Jen feels alive. UGH.SO UNTIL THIS PART I THOUGHT THIS BOOK WAS PERFECT. Then we had Jennifer lusting after Alex, leading him on, trying to justify the whole thing by saying 'he was an old friend' and 'he is being a friend' even though it was obvious his intentions wasnt friendly; he was hitting on her hard and she was letting him.Ok. Ok. I get it you have cancer. BUT BO-HOOOO. That doesnt justify having an affair. You cant say Alex is a friend when clearly he is not, you cant say you didnt had an affair when you clearly had. The worst part; she never ever ever OWNS IT. Not every damn main character has to be likeable OK? But at least they must be bearable. Jen wasnt bearable in the second half of the book AT ALL. She was one self-sentered bitch instead. And I dont care she has cancer, I dont care she is struggling and she is confused, I dont care her perfect husband (who still loves her) pats her head instead of kissing, I DONT FUCKING CARE ABOUT THOSE THINGS,OK?!. She almost ruined everything for a night of escapism. This girl is too fucking self-centered. She always was and she still is. It's not just the cancer. A little example; she tells her husband to go golfing with her father and relax for a few days. But then she gets mad because he left and didnt come back when she wanted. They talk and she insists everything is fine, she is just a bit feeling down, he doesnt need do come back but when she closes the phone she whines Henry didnt get she needed him. ''Oh my husband doesnt love me anymore but Alex is here, looking my eyes so cozily. Oh I'm so lonely. Oh I should live the hospital and go to Alex's house because I want to feel again. No. No we are just friends. But I want to feel again. We are surely just friends but I like that he wants me. I feel so aliveeee.''WTF?!Ok, how the hell your pathetic excuse makes it ok with going away with your ex boyfriend to his house? And this guy, you havent seen for...let me see...15 years, right? What. The. Fuck. How the hell you know you can trust this guy?!!!!I'm so annoyed. So annoyed. I wanted throw this book out from the window but I couldnt because it was an Arc that was provided from Net Galley and I was reading it on my cellphone. I happen to like my cellphone. A lot.OVERALL; Stupid fucking book. Stay away if you cant stand to self centered main characters. That's all I'm saying.**ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchanged of an honest review

  • Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
    2019-04-20 22:48

    I received a copy of this book thanks to the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, my thanks for the opportunity.In the Mirror is a special story about a special lady, literally fighting for her life against the unfair ravages of cancer.Jennifer Benson has it all: a successful career, a perfect husband, two kids and abundant friendships. The only problem is she may be dying. Diagnosed with cancer, she enters an experimental treatment facility to tackle her death sentence the same way she's tackled her life - head on. While she's there, she decides to throw herself a party, but what she doesn't plan for is her marriage to be threatened by the sudden return of a high school sweetheart.We meet Jennifer in her special live-in treatment facility and begin to hear the story of how she has ended up there, trying experimental cancer treatments to attack and kill the cancer in her body.Initially, I was caught up in the angry stage of grief, enveloped by it. It ate away at my soul and left me spent, running on nothing but useless emotion. Why me? What had I done differently than anyone else I knew?Jennifer is a strong woman and contemplates all she has to lose during her long hours alone. She has a special friendship with another patient in the clinic, they share an understanding that those without cancer just don't have of the disease they fight off together.Jennifer decides to throw a series of parties, to celebrate her life, and ropes in her somewhat dysfunctional family including her Mother and her Sister to help. Her sister is quite a narcissistic character, did not like her one bit.She has a husband who loves her and two small children, there is a lot to live for.Whatever time God gives us on this earth, we humans fill it up. Mostly with meaningless, day-to-day activities. That is, after all, the process we call livi/ng. We forget to cherish, celebrate every moment as the blessing it is.That made me stop and think. Because it's true. And if you, like myself have lost a loved one or more to cancer you know that this sickness can stop and make you take stock of what you have got, as potential death stares you in the face watching a loved one waste away.The spanner in the works comes in the form of Jennifer's first love, her ex who crops up to visit her and stirs up a world of confusing emotions and thoughts. She dangerously compares her past relationship with him with her current marriage to her steady and loving husband. Not a good idea. Does that end well? You will have to read and see.I can't share much more on that character without spoiling a lot of the book for you. But overall this is a nice read, I think it captures the truth of the horror of cancer quite well. I had trouble connecting with all of the characters, Jennifer at times seemed an unusual mix of worldly and naive and flitted back and forth between the two. I loved that by the end we saw her true colours. It was because I'd doubted myself, I supposed. If you don't feel worthy of love, if something is missing, or something horrible is thrust upon you, it's easy to doubt your worth.Indeed, indeed.We journey with Jennifer through her trials and tribulations, her decisions, right or wrong, she takes us with her in the book. I felt the sideline story involving the ex in the book went a little bit too much on the unbelievable side for me but all in all this book is a good read, enjoyable and at times deeply moving. 3.5 stars from me for this one.

  • Connie
    2019-04-02 00:40

    So here we have a book about a young woman with cancer. There's no secret that this is a book designed to tug on your heart strings. And it does exactly that. Despite that, I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was well written. The main character does some really questionable things. She makes some unwise decisions, almost to the point of being over the top. As a reader, I was starting to question what was going on. The author reins it all in and handles it beautifully. A layman in the story provides answers to any misunderstandings or wrong feelings the reader might feel as well by explaining some of the feelings and thought processes a cancer patient might feel. At the end there is on small part that I feel could have been left out entirely from the book, and in my case, it would have made the book even better. Having said that, I understand that not everyone in the world can handle story-lines that don't have a solid wrapped up finish to them. I *do* understand why the author threw this little bit in, but again, I wish she hadn't. It did take a bit away from the story from me instead of adding to it like it probably did for others. Overall I still really enjoyed this book. I found myself seeking it out and in a hurry to return to it when I did set it aside. If I had started this book on a weekday instead of a weekend, I'm pretty sure I would have finished it all in one day. I enjoyed it that much.On a more personal note, I might have been moved so much with this book because I recently was told my father has stage 4 cancer. That's a tough thing to hear as a family member. Let alone for the patient. It's also awful because I just happen to be on a totally different continent and can't be near him. It's hard to even write that....let alone acknowledge it. I enjoyed this book so much because just as all of us must ask questions and wonder, "why me...why us", these characters do as well. They struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Of guilt. Selfishness. Resentment. Thankfulness. The list goes on and on. It never ends and day in and day out they struggle with the roller-coaster ride that is cancer and the emotions that they have to struggle with. Seeking answers where some may never be found. Of what it means to be sick. Of what it means to want to go back to happier times. Of wishing it was someone else instead. Of seeing others enjoying life as if nothing has happened. I appreciated this. I think everyone, regardless of where they are in life can do the same if they read this book. Something such as this will always be felt most by the patient. That goes without saying. But cancer is horrible enough that it doesn't just scar the victim. It effects those all around them as well. Who doesn't want to save the world? Let alone their child, or their lover, or a parent, or their best friend.....yet, somethings are not ours to decide...they are just ours to deal with....That's a tough pill to swallow..... ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

  • Kristie
    2019-04-19 01:59

    I DNF this book at 47%. I received it as a book for review through NetGalley and really thought I would love it. But, instead of reading a book about a woman dying of cancer and her relationships, so far it has been a book about a woman in a hospital dying of cancer and having an attraction to every man in the book. There is her husband, who still loves her, though they are going through a tough time. It is hard for him to have his wife in the hospital and two small children at home, yet he is not questioning his commitment to his wife (that I know of yet). Then, there is her best friend in the hospital. He is also dying of cancer. He and his wife are fighting and he is putting the moves on Jennifer, our main character. When he leaves the hospital to spend some time with his wife, Jennifer is jealous. What?! Yes, jealous. Then, of course, there's her ex-boyfriend who was madly in love with her and asked her to marry him 15 years ago, before she dumped him for her current husband. I have an idea, lets have a romantic picnic and a cuddle session with the ex while your husband isn't around. The ex, of course, also has to throw himself at our main character. Because, you know, two guys wasn't enough for this lovely lady. I am so frustrated with this book and just can't make myself care what happens to this woman. I have no interest in reading a story about a woman that is in the hospital with cancer, while her husband is at home caring for their two young children, and she's having thoughts, fantasies, and romantic interludes with other men. No thank you.

  • Sojourner
    2019-04-04 03:40

    In the Mirror by Kaira Rouda is a passionately stirring, emotional story of a young mother with an uncertain future as she is diagnosed with cancer. Jennifer Benson is not just a mother, she is also a wife, sister, daughter and dear friend to many. As she struggle through the pain of cancer and the dreadful prospect of dying an early death, she finds enough courage and purpose to cheer the people around her.The sudden reappearance of her first love jolted her, but it becomes a springboard to love her husband as she never did before. Jennifer prioritizes her life with the more important things in life fully aware each and every step she takes could be her last. What is strikingly loveable about Jennifer is the zeal with which she touches those around her. Instead of being a burden to others, she infuses life and laughter into the lives of others.In the Mirror by Kaira Rouda is a delightfully touching novel about love, family, and friends. It is a novel that shows how one can balance sadness with humor, sickness with laughter and death with life. It is a fascinating story, one that truly absorbs the reader. It is as uplifting as it is tragic. It is a story that everyone can relate to, and a novel that everyone must read as living today means facing death tomorrow.

  • Mrs Mommy Booknerd
    2019-04-07 03:43

    4.5 stars When a writer chooses to write about a heavy subject they have to do so beautifully, with honesty, knowledge and sincerity. Rouda was able to capture the characters struggle with the disease and all the horrors, questions. emotions and epiphanies that come with it. In the Mirror was an emotional read that will pull on heart strings. So much so that I had to set it a side a few times, which is sometimes good...when the writer can grab you like make you really feel the character and their struggle. I am still a bit off balance from this read and am still living in the story. Great writing, by a fantastic author who really gets what it is to write a story worth reading! 4.5 stars

  • Nancy Brady
    2019-04-18 02:43

    Full disclosure: I received this book as a Shelf Awareness giveaway from the author.4.5 stars actually--this is a novel of a woman dying of breast cancer, but she decides to celebrate her life with a party. Jennifer is looking back at her relatively short life, but wants to connect with friends and family. Her best friend Ralph, also dying of cancer, spend their days together at Shady Green of the fake-wood floor, and bolster each other. Her first love returns, and Jennifer makes decisions that affect her and her family.This novel has upbeat moments as well as moments of sadness, and an ending that will leave the reader wondering. Moreover, it deals with the what-if- you-knew-you- would-die-soon, what would your decisions be.

  • Sally Huss
    2019-03-27 04:45

    In the Mirror is an emotionally charged story about a young mom facing the nightmare of serious illness. It is a novel of love, and family, and the importance of friends and family. Balancing sadness and humor, In theMirror is an absorbing story of trying to live life when facing the possibility of death. This is an uplifting story that I believe anyone can relate to and can find meaning from.

  • Carly West
    2019-04-04 23:34

    I've got to be honest this book pulled on too many personal emotional strings. It was hard to read but not in the sense that you would think. It was fantastically written.It poses all those questions.. Why me? Why now? Why why why???I laughed, I cried out of happiness, sadness, relief, and desperation. I would recommend to anyone because it's beautiful, brutally, and honestly written. Five stars just isn't enough.

  • Laurie Carlson
    2019-04-15 02:40

    My Take:5+++ Amazing Stars!What would you do if you knew you were going to die?This truly is a beautiful book from start to finish, and will make a perfect Book Club choice! It is chock-full of topics to discuss, and even now after I am done reading this book, I keep thinking about it. This is one book you will not soon forget, and is one of my favorites for 2014.Given what this book is about, it is still amazing! This author immediately engages us with the characters, their lives, their thoughts and feelings. From the first page of this book to the very end, you feel as if you know these characters on a personal level because we can so easily relate to them, especially Jennifer.Jennifer learns she is going to die from breast cancer, and she isn't even thirty years old yet. She is facing this every day, and for the most part by herself, alone, while she is residing at Shady Valley hospital undergoing experimental treatment. No, the other treatments have failed to work which is why she is here doing this treatment. Yes, her husband and kids come to visit mostly every other day, but Jennifer feels likes she's been away for a lifetime already. Jennifer has a friend here at Shady Valley, and his name is Ralph. They talk for hours and hours at a time. They talk about life and death quite a bit while enjoying Ralph's favorite game of Scrabble. The days they spend playing scrabble, talking about life, and the impending loss of it. Ralph is her best friend here at Shady Valley.What would you do though if you knew you were going to die? There were no 'if's, and's, or but's' about it, you were going to die. How would you look at life, what would you think about life, how would you accept what life has dealt you? You know your husband can move on in life, but what about your two very young children, her son who is age 3, and her daughter who is not even 2yrs old yet. Her daughter was so young, just an infant a few weeks old when Jennifer feels the lump in her breast. Then the cancer is diagnosed. Jennifer feels like she doesn't even have that mother/daughter bond with her daughter. She always envisions her daughter seeking comfort in other people's arms instead of her own. Will this be the way it will be for her daughter? Will her daughter get to know her mother?Jennifer decides to throw herself a party! Yes! She wants to bring all of her friends together while she is alive, not at a funeral home while she can't attend. She is busy working on that, and while doing so she gets a visitor. An old boyfriend. He if full of questions for her. She always wondered what life would have been like if she had married him instead of Ralph, and often thought of him, too, however, this boyfriend has more in mind about her than just visiting and it ends up putting a wedge into her marriage at the worse possible time.This book was a very poignant, yet very uplifting in the same sense because of the way Jennifer so bravely handles the diagnosis and looks at life. She is still thinking of living, not dying. I highly suggest reading this book. Grab a box of Kleenex, though. You're going to need it.I have now purchased this author's, Kaira Rouda's other books because this one was absolutely tremendous!I received this book for FREE from the Real You Publishing Group and NetGalley in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

  • Darlene
    2019-04-18 03:42

    In the Mirror by Kaira Rouda is an emotional and moving novel. It makes you question yourself as to what you would with your life if you found out that you were going to die soon. What choices would you make? Would you risk the life you have now to follow a different path?Jennifer has it all. She has a great husband, a son, and a baby daughter. However hovering over all of that is the devastating diagnosis of cancer. With no other options Jennifer is staying at an experimental treatment facility trying anything she can just to get more time with her family and especially her young children. She thinks so often that they won’t even remember her when they grown up and since the cancer struck right after she had her baby girl she hasn’t even really had a lot of time just to be with her baby girl.Jennifer is a tough cookie though and I admired that because under the same circumstances I don’t think I would be. While enduring her treatments she is still running her business and planning a party for herself along with still trying to be upbeat for her children. She refers to her party as a life celebration even though many think she’s planning a death reception. I see it from her point of view and wanting to see people before she’s gone if in fact she doesn’t make it. Still she has a lot of time on her hands and going through the treatments and feeling horrible has her thoughts drifting to negative things like how could anyone, especially her husband, love her the way she looks now. It is this thought process that has her turning to an old boyfriend she was once very much in love with when he comes to town to see her. He makes her feel attractive again and wanted, something her husband hasn’t done in a long time. She can’t help but wonder how different her life may have been had she chosen a different path. Just as she’s pushing the envelope a bit too far in a direction she probably shouldn’t go things go terribly awry leaving Jennifer shocked and even more disillusioned as to what she wants and needs from life.This novel really addresses cancer and all its issues in a very real way. The author portrays Jennifer as being strong and yet having all the normal feelings of self-pity and loathing. She deals with wanting to leave a legacy for her children and worrying that they will never know her. Obviously she really struggles with her looks and feeling attractive as so many do when they are seriously ill do. She loves her husband and misses the close relationship they had before she got sick. While this novel does fall on the heavier side dealing with cancer and its effects on every aspect of your life and those around you it is also about hope, life, and love. It is about beating cancer the best way you can and learning amid all the turmoil that ultimately what matters is what you share with those you love the most.I thought this novel was quite good and it hit me emotionally. I’m sure the story will stay with me for a while and the only thing I would have liked would have been an epilogue that occurred maybe a year after the story ends. I wanted just that little bit more but I love Kaira’s writing and can’t wait to read more of her work. Recommended to those who enjoy women’s fiction and novels that deal with subjects such as cancer.

  • Diane
    2019-04-19 05:57

    What would you do if you knew your death date: would you live your life differently … even if you already had the perfect life?That is the crux of In the Mirror, a story revolving around Jennifer Benson, whose life is nearly perfect until she receives a diagnosis of deadly cancer and a prognosis that indicates she may be dying rather than living.As she examines the relationships and choices that make up her world, Jennifer is forced to consider what she would do differently in the time remaining to her - and thus embarks on a journey of self-inspection that carries the reader along with her.Surprisingly, the start of In the Mirror is not about life, but the end of life: for Jennifer now resides at Shady Valley, a place where "Mondays meant nothing at Shady Valley. We lived in the “pause” world, between “play” and “stop.” Suspension was the toughest part for me. And loneliness. Sure, I had visitors, but it wasn’t the same as being always surrounded by people in motion."And yet even there Jennifer's finding a way to live, and plans on throwing a party for herself to recapture a sense of 'life's motion', now missing from her life. This party will celebrate her life while she's still there to enjoy it - and is something, at least, that she can still control. It also gives her something to hold on to that's part of the living; not her uncertain future in the world: "It seemed perfectly reasonable, because while I knew I should be living in the moment, the future seemed a little hazy without a party to focus on."Through a series of flashbacks readers receive insights on how Jennifer's led her life before and after the cancer diagnosis and the factors that keep her alive and hopeful, which largely center around her family: "I needed to be in the future. I needed to hold out a few more years. I’d call my doctor, see if anything new had come around. If I could last five years, that would be like fifty years to Hank and Hannah. Kid time moved so slowly."Eventually what seems like a doomsday diagnosis and a life experiencing its last stages turns around. In due course readers are treated to a newly-reborn Jennifer who discovers different a focus beyond her formerly-perfect, pre-cancer world. And, ultimately, readers enjoy a saga that celebrates life over terminal illness: "For the first time in months—fifteen months to be exact, from the time of my diagnosis—I felt lucky. No matter what. The last two years had been lost in a sea of morning sickness, labor, delivery, surgery, radiation, chemo, and lately, experimental immunotherapies and gene therapy. I was alive and in love. Most important, I had been given a second chance."The factors that keep us human - and hopeful - against all odds are slowly revealed in an emotionally charged story fueled by first-person experience.Without spilling beans, suffice it to say the end is unpredictable, satisfying, and provides no pat answers. It's purposely a bit ambiguous so that readers can fill in their own definitions of 'what ultimately happens'. So if you're looking for an emotional read filled with life and purpose, struggles against poor odds, and revelations surrounding definitions of love and family, then In the Mirror is for you.

  • Lillian
    2019-04-14 05:55

    In the Mirror by Kaira Rouda tore my heart to pieces! This story follows Jennifer Benson, a daughter, wife, mother who at the age of 34 is dying of an aggressive form of breast cancer. It begins with Jennifer meeting with her terminal friend Ralph who lives with her at Shady Valley (a hospice center). They are discussing, rather morbidly, her need for a party. This party is like a funeral before death. Jennifer wants to meet with the people who meant something to her before she dies and give them a true memory of her, instead of them seeing her in a casket. The characters of this story are wonderfully written. Jennifer is the main character and the story is told from her POV. I was amazed at the depth the author went into when describing everything that Jennifer goes through. She took us through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). And just like in real life, these stages don't necessarily come in order and the author showed that really well. Her husband Henry is just amazingly heartbreaking! At the beginning of the story we see a detached husband who is struggling to keep his family together and at the end he's back to being the husband Jennifer remembers who kisses her just because. The plot of this story is really quite simple. It's a reflection of Jennifer's life and how she is coping with her diagnosis of death. She chooses to focus on her good memories instead of the bad ones when remembering her past which leads to a little trouble with her ex Alex (nothing she and Henry can't handle). There were a few moments were I couldn't help but chuckle (gallows humor and the beginning of each chapter started with a drug warning label) It's truly a heart-wrenching story as Jennifer asks the questions no one wants to ask. Who will raise her kids with Henry? Will they remember her? Will Henry fall in love with another woman, a younger healthy version of herself? As a young wife and mother myself reading certain parts of this book proved to be too much. I sobbed, wondering how my own family would handle this situation. If you or someone you love has dealt with cancer, then you will understand Jennifer's troubles all too well. Realistically written, I wouldn't doubt that the author herself has seen this firsthand. If you enjoy realistic, women's literature then I highly suggest you pick up this novel. It's sweet, it will make you cry, but it's so worth it!!I received an eARC from the publishers at Real You via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Kim Ambler
    2019-04-17 04:50

    In the Mirror is a powerfully gripping story about a young wife and mother battling cancer. I must confess, I spent the first part of this story thinking it was a work of non-fiction (which it is not). So this may have impacted my overall read. Right off the bat, I became very emotionally invested in the main character and her story. However, since this story was so well written and engaging, I probably would have been just as engrossed had I known it was a fictional story.The emotions and struggles of the main character are very believable, and I was easily able to empathize with her. In fact, I related to her so well that it almost became emotionally draining. (This is not necessarily a bad thing. I mention it to reflect the powerful writing of this author.) It was neat to see the unique, loving bond between the main character, Jennifer, and her friend and fellow cancer patient, Ralph. It was also interesting to see the way Jennifer's relationship with her husband came full circle over the course of the novel. The interaction between Jennifer and her ex-boyfriend was one of the most fascinating (but at times less believable) parts of the book. Some of the characters were more likable than others, but all of the characters were well developed. I loved the different dynamics between various characters.I always appreciate books that keep me thinking even after I have finished the last page. This story was no exception. I can't say that I loved the ending, but it did stay with me. Overall, the book was wonderful. It was jam packed with emotion. Although it was heartbreaking, in many ways it was also brimming with love and hope. In the Mirror was full of drama, some comedy, and even suspense. It had a little something for everyone. I highly recommend it.*Many thanks to NetGalley for providing a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

  • Laurel-Rain
    2019-04-09 04:55

    Jennifer Wells Benson is spending her last months of life in a treatment facility called Shady Valley. She has been through almost every cancer treatment available, plus some clinical trials…and while nobody is saying there is no hope, she is planning a big get-together to celebrate her life.And she is looking back on the life she had. Like in a rear-view mirror.At home are her beloved family, including her husband Henry, her three-year-old son Hank, and 18-month-old Hannah, who was just an infant when she was diagnosed.Jennifer co-owns a store named Clothes the Loop, which I recognized from another book by the author, Here, Home, Hope. There were other characters from that story, like Kelly, who stages homes, and the annoying Rachel White.From Jennifer’s past comes newly divorced Alexander Caldwell Thomas. He had been her boyfriend and first love, but she is sure she chose the right man when she married Henry. So why is Alex pursuing her? What motivates him? And why does he turn violent suddenly?Jennifer’s self-absorbed sister Julie also seems to be spending a lot of time with Alex. What, exactly, is going on?I loved meeting Ralph, another patient in the facility. He and Jennifer support each other and make their days of waiting seem more fulfilling.In the Mirror is one of those stories that is sad, but beneath the sadness lies a ray of hope. Will the final clinical trial be the miracle Jennifer needs? Will going home, finally, be just what must happen in order for her life to be complete? As much as I wanted to know what lay ahead for her, I was also eager for the story to end. Too much sadness? In some ways, I thought Jennifer seemed a little too focused on herself, even though she had every reason to be. 3.5 stars.

  • Alaina Crosby
    2019-04-13 22:43

    Just to preface, since the synopsis could come off this way, if you’re looking for something akin to Nicholas Sparks or some fun, but poignant Chick Lit, this isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. Of course, if you’re not afraid of a reality or aren’t triggered by cancer, death, manipulation, or abuse, then definitely stick around! I just had to add in that exclamation point to lighten up that otherwise possibly wary sentence because it really is an enjoyable book. While it deals with some heavy subjects, it’s a quick read and one that keeps you thinking after you’ve put it down. In all honestly, I found myself thinking about it pretty long after I put it down: as a young mother of a two-year-old with another on the way and prominent people in my life with the same names as several of the characters, I couldn’t help but try to put myself in Jennifer’s position and think about how I’d react. I loved that the love triangle wasn’t at all what it seemed even if it played with the conventions of that trope (and that it forces you out of that comfort zone and into your own mind); that it explored the idea that cancer patients can and do go through a form of PTSD (even if it’s frustrating to the reader, as it would be to the family and friends involved); and that it’s okay to leave things, relationship wise, as a work in progress and not force the characters (or yourself) into some contrived happily-ever-after. Even when life’s not perfect (as it never is), happiness can be found within yourself and you’ll be amazed with the strength you find along the way.

  • Alba
    2019-04-05 03:36

    Originally posted on: reading the blurb of this book I knew this was obviously not a happy story. Dealing with cancer is one of the hardest thing a person can suffer, especially if your chances of surviving are almost non existant. And this book narrates Jennifer's story beautifully. It is a raw and cruel reality but it is what it is. From the beginning you understand what Jennifer and her family and friends are suffering.The fact that she has two small children makes it even harder. Everytime her baby daughter refused to be hold by her... my heart broke a little. But who can blame her, only a baby who doesn't understand what is going on and why her mum is never at home. Jennifer though makes some questionable decisions that I don't understand. And her love triangle is a bit too much for me. The book was already full of emotions... why complicate it more? I was really hooked with the story until this moment that left me thinking... what is going on? Luckly, the book recovered after that for me.But apart from this, I enjoyed the book. It made me think a lot about life and what we consider important. We should all notice the small things and enjoy them more. I think the question What choices would you make if you knew you might die soon? is key to this book. Probably, if I knew I might die... my choices would surprise even me. Finally, I want to say that Kaira's style is brutally honest. I will be checking her other books for sure.Rating: 3,5

  • Jennie Shaw
    2019-04-15 23:55

    I had high hopes for In The Mirror, but I’m sorry to say that it didn’t deliver. The part of the synopsis that piqued my interest was the “realistic love story,” in the midst of a terminal illness but, in my opinion, that isn’t what In The Mirror is about. It’s not a love story; it’s a story about Jennifer and how she’s coping with potentially dying from cancer. Now, I guess I should say that I’m a bit biased because I have a severe chronic illness, which has given me ample time to reflect on my life choices. As such, I was expecting to be totally sympathetic towards Jennifer but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. In fact, I was horrified with the way she treated Henry (her husband) and then things got really went off-course for me when a past love surfaced. In general, I found myself really disliking Jennifer, and at times, was downright angry with her behaviour because I simply could not understand how she could be so selfish yet still have a solid support system practically begging to be there for her. It just didn’t ring true to me, which circles back to the beginning of my review, when I said I was disappointed because I'd been expecting a “realistic love story." There’s no doubt that In The Mirror is written well—beautifully, actually—but because I couldn’t connect with Jennifer, I didn’t enjoy the story as much as I wanted to. I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  • Heather -
    2019-03-21 21:42

    In The Mirror by Kaira RoudaKindle Version 216 PagesApproved for Review by Netgalley and Real You Publishing Group for a honest review.I am honored to be able to read In The Mirror by Kaira Rouda a Lot of this blog is thanks to Kaira's first fictional book Here Home Hope. I must say this is a book is one to pull at your heart strings. I was touched by so many characters within the storyline hook, line, and sinker. Jennifer Benson was the Thirty something have it all girl, great husband, kids, booming business. When faced with the worse. You start looking in the mirror with the big questionable words What If's... As her friends and family come to be beside Jennifer, she is faced with the past giving her many self doubts. As her life in Shady Valley she will fight to beat the diagnosed cancer that has came with a vengeance. She decides to throw a party before she dies, when a person from her high school past comes in and tries to sweep her off her feet. She is face to look in the mirror.This book is emotional and wrenching, I felt such a closeness to the characters, and the town of Grandville. Grab your box of tissues and a bottle of red with In The Mirror. Heather Follow me Twitter - @BooksBooksnMorehttp://heathersbooksbooksnmore.blogsp... Also Follow Kaira at: Rouda

  • Marlene
    2019-03-25 04:51

    If you knew your days were limited, how would you spend them? Would you spend more time with family and friends? Go on the trip you always dreamed of? Do something crazy and unexpected like get your first tattoo? Or would you go about your life as usual?Jennifer Benson has resigned to the fact that her cancer is going to prematurely end her life. At 34, the thought of people seeing her for the last time at her funeral isn’t the way she wants to be remembered; so she’s planning a party to celebrate her life. But when her ex-boyfriend, Alex, comes to town he makes it known that his feelings for Jennifer are still strong. With the disconnect she has been feeling with her husband and dealing with a terminal illness, the attention that Alex gives her is not only welcome, but something she starts to look forward to. But when Alex shows a different side of him, one that Jennifer has never seen, she realizes the mistake she made getting close to him again. She fears she may have gone too far and potentially jeopardized her marriage. In The Mirror is a powerful book about life, love and forgiveness. The way the author addressed such sensitive topics as illness and infidelity was done in such a flawless way. This book will make you laugh, cry, and reevaluate what’s truly important in life. I absolutely recommend this book and am keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel!

  • Samantha March
    2019-04-20 05:39

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.When I first read this synopsis, I got a little leery of the book. I thought it was going to be a total downer, a book that I sobbed the whole way through, and that’s not always fun. I am happy to report though that the story really wasn’t like that. Sure we’re following a terminally ill woman, but the book’s intention isn’t to make you sad and wail like a baby, it’s to make you think. Think about the choices you have made in your life, think if you would make of some of the decisions differently based on circumstances, and make you think what would you do if you knew you were going to die. It’s quite an interesting concept for a novel, and In the Mirror was also a pretty quick read; I finished it in a day. I’m honestly not sure if I wanted more scenes, but I had a bit of trouble connecting to the story and getting emotionally involved in it, which I thought would be easy to do given the situation Jennifer is in. Instead of feeling like I was a part of the story I felt like I was just floating above the words, reading as she went along her journey. I still enjoyed the book and I hope you can read it simply to get your wheels turning, but I’m a little bummed I didn’t click with it like I usually can with Rouda’s work. 3.5 stars

  • PaulaPhillips
    2019-03-29 01:47

    Jennifer had it all - a loving family, two beautiful children and her own business until she started feeling ill after her second child and it was discovered that she had Cancer. I personally wasn't sure how I would find this book as it seems everywhere you look there is a new Cancer based book out but I have been enjoying the TV show Chasing Life and in a way In the Mirror reminded me of that rather than The Fault in our Stars by John Green or Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor. The story takes place in Shady Cove , a cancer respite care place and shows how Jennifer feels she has lost everything until her first love Alex turns up and he gives Jennifer a small inkling of hope and lust and revitalisation as she feels distant from her Husband and family. I was wondering when reading the book as Henry was distant from Jennifer whether he was having an affair with the Nanny but that topic never came up and I loved her son Hank - he was such a cutie. In The Mirror is not only a Cancer and Survivor story but it is also a romance and suspense as we discover that sometimes our fantasies and wishes aren't all that they are cracked up to be and if we aren't careful the decisions can lead to danger.If you are wanting a contemporary romance with a touch of edginess and don't mind the basis of a Cancer novel , then you will love "In the Mirror" by Kaira Rouda as much as I did.

  • Oma
    2019-04-04 00:46

    Jennifer Benson, a young wife and mother of two is dying. She is in Shady Valley, receiving intensive therapy in an attempt to save her life. She feels cut off from her family and friends even though they visit regularly. She is treated as someone who is dying. A fellow patient, Ralph, becomes her friend and sounding board.Her former boyfriend, Alex, comes to visit and treats her as though she is well. He makes her feel attractive, like a woman and not a cancer patient. Jennifer is faced with a serious choice. Should she yield to Alex or should she remain faithful to her husband, Hank.Too often, when someone is seriously ill, we see the disease and not the person. This book highlights the fact that, though they are seriously ill, cancer patients still need to feel attractive and valuable. This book illustrates the humanity of the dying cancer patient as well as showing the strain the disease process places on the family. I have not been compensated in any way (other than being given a copy of this book to review) and my opinion on the book is entirely my own.

  • Marisa
    2019-04-08 03:57

    I was quickly drawn into the story and into the lives of the characters. They were all very well written and believable – so believable in fact that at first I thoroughly disliked husband who I thought was quite withdrawn from his wife and what she was going through. There was quite a few characters I engaged with the most and who I felt the most sympathy for the heroine and her husband and family are her whole life and I could empathize with her fears that her marriage and family were falling apart. I found I was a tad disappointed with the sleepy ending, and wished they fell asleep together exhausted from each other if you catch my much more in how I was hoping it would close off for me.My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Real You Publishing Group

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-18 23:54

    I would like to start out by thanking Kaira Rouda for writing In the Mirror. Not every book has to be happy, not every book has to be sad. But when you find a book which causes you to feel those and many other emotions, you hold onto each word in that book and soak each word in.At times I thought I was going to break the highlight function on my kindle from overuse. I found Ms. Rouda's words to be like a dance, slow and heartfelt and then zippy and humorous.The ending...oh, where do I go with the ending of the story? I think it's the only way the ending could be. To me, reading needs to invoke my imagination. And the ending of this book did just that.Thank you, Ms. Rouda. You've got a fan for life in my.