- Paperback: 327 pages
- Publisher: Essence Pub (March 1 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1894169778
- ISBN-13: 978-1894169776
- Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.4 x 1.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
Stolen moments Paperback – Mar 1 1999
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" Once I picked up Stolen Moments, I couldn't put it down. A love story not soon to be forgotten. It's exuberant, inspirational, breathtaking, and heart warming. . . .all at once. A book to be read over and over again." -- Terra Community College. . . Rosemary Farrar Pocock
"What a beautiful story of unrequited love. . .for certain the love story of the nineties." -- Literary Agent, Scott Mitchell
"I finally read your book! It is a spellbinder. One I got reading I could hardly put it down. what terrific writing. You have an exceptional gift!" -- Editor of Messenger magazine, Father F. J. Power
"I intended to give the book a quick read, but I got so caught up in the story that I couldn't put the book down. From the very beginning, I was fully caught up in the heart-wrenching account of Julie Hunter's battle with lupus and her growing love for Don Lipton. This love, in the face of Julie's impending death, makes for a story that covers the range of human emotions. The touches of humor are great, too, they add some nice contrast and lighten things a bit when emotions are running high. I've never read a manuscript more deserving of being published. It has rare depth. Julie's story will remind your readers that life and love are precious and not to be taken for granted. It has had an impact on me, and for that I'm grateful." -- Writer's Digest Associate & published author, Bill Greenleaf
"Stolen Moments " which is reminiscent of "Love Story" is written with so much sensitivity that it made me want to cry. Like"Love Story" it is about a dying woman who has found true love. It is the love story of the nineties." -- Literary agent, Carolyn Hopwood Blick
About the Author
Barbara Jeanne Fisher resides in Fremont, Ohio. She recently received her associate's degree in creative writing, and currently works as a writing tutor at Terra State Community College. Ms. Fisher is a prolific writer and has published many articles in various magazines, including Guide Post Angels, the Messenger of the Sacred Heart, Messages from the Heart, Equal Opportunities for the Disabled, The Phoenix, and most recently she has been published in A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for Women, a current best seller in the United States. Ms Fisher has also published two children's books How much Can Teddy Bear and Nobody's Lion, along with an autobiography called I Will Never Forget about her battles with multiple Sclerosis.
Although fictional, in her first novel, Stolen Moments, many of the emotions portrayed by the characters come from her experience in dealing with lupus in her own life. Her goal in writing the book was to use the feelings of her heart to touch the hearts of others.
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Admittedly, the trite plot is served by having a heroine who doesn't go through what real lupus patients go through: steroids, hospitalizations for IV chemotherapy, and the constant ups and downs that keep us going. Then the author would have to develop some complex characters: Julie would have significant limitations in her lifestyle but would have to get some backbone and make a choice between her husband and her lover, because she would most likely be around for a while. Better for Ms. Fisher to portray someone with lupus who romantically presses on, quaffing pain pills like breath mints and not consenting to go into the hospital until she is in end-stage renal failure, while her doctor offers up sympathy instead of prednisone. The only thing that salvages this book is that it is so poorly written that I could not waste my emotions getting caught up in the shallow, hackneyed narrative. The reviewer who likened this book to a car accident was right on target: I, too, wondered why I even cared to find out how it ended.
The only tears I did shed in connection with this book were when I read that a reviewer who describes herself as a head of a national lupus foundation says that she is recommending this book for people with lupus. When I have severe pericarditis and pleuritis, my chest pain makes it difficult to carry out daily activities--but I have been receiving treatment for my multi-organ lupus for years and years and continue to bounce back to a baseline. Julie in "Stolen Moments" is able to carry two bags of groceries in from the car at the same time that she has accepted that her chest pain means that she has only six months to live, so she won't go into the hospital because she might miss a week of classes. Most lupus patients could write a novel longer than "Stolen Moments" just listing activities that have had to been given up--but most of us also can enjoy life and expect more than a few months of life even when we have a flare that requires hospitalization. Julie is portrayed as courageous for disregarding her doctor's advice and postponing treatment because her death is portrayed as inevitable. Is this the kind of message that lupus foundations want to give to newly diagnosed patients?
I am not in denial about the seriousness of SLE. However, in the 21st century, thank God, lupus no longer has to be an automatic death sentence. Maybe Julie's lupus would have had the quick and fatal course it did even if she had received proper treatment and complied with it--but her lover, daughter, and grandson will never know, will they? Rather than recommending "Stolen Moments," the message I would like to have given to lupus-patient Julie would have been: (1) Ditch the caring but apparently ignorant family doctor and get to a good internist and a rheumatologist, (2) Stop being a martyr, and (3) Do realize how precious your time is and don't spend it reading utter trash.
This novel is structured around an opening scene that displays the developed love between Julie and her creative writing professor, Don Lipton, after Julie's death. Then the book moves backward through flashback, and eventually reconnects to the opening scene. Those who want a lot of surprises will probably not find this book very exciting. It's more like a ride on a carousel than on a rollar coaster. Those who are interested in psychological evolution will find the plot interesting.
Here's the story line: Julie, the heroine, decides to go back to college now that her daughter is grown and married. Unfortunately, she has an incurable disease, lupus, which means she will not live much longer and is quite ill. She wants a college degree in mathematics, a long-time goal. Her husband Robert owns a company in town and is facing a crisis in his business that has him totally preoccupied. He is also having trouble facing up to the seriousness of Julie's illness. Julie's daughter, Cheryl, is about to give birth to a son, and is having a ball with her husband Tom. All of this is sidetracked when she has to take a course in creative writing from Don Lipton, who both annoys and challenges her to give writing her best shot. In the process, her writing improves, she learns why Don Lipton is such a grouch, and she begins to use her writing to heal.
I felt inspired by this book to look around me to see who else might be hurting, whose brusque manner simply hides pain that needs to be released. As a writer, I found myself encouraged to put more of my own emotions into future works to the help the reader find her or his own lessons. That's a lot of insight to get from one novel. Thank you!
I dove into this book wanting to be moved by this pure story of love, and the only thing that moved was the time that I wasted reading this empty book. The title is perfect, and after reading the book you will know what I mean. I wanted so much to like this book and even tried to make another attempt at reading it again, but it would have been painful. If you like love stories try THE NOTEBOOK, or MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE. Unless you like the idea of having your moments stolen.
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