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Between Me and You


Between Me and You

Allison Winn Scotch nails it again in her new novel, BETWEEN ME AND YOU. I loved this book about marriage and second chances, ambition and what it takes to really know another person. For those grammar police-types, on both social media and in her acknowledgments, Scotch explains that the title is inspired by the song of the same name by Brandon Flowers. Reading the lyrics, I can see threads of the song in the story that she weaves.

If you've read my reviews, you know I’m not one to walk you through the story synopsis, so here’s the quick and dirty from the back cover description so I can get to my thoughts.

“When their paths first cross, Ben Livingston is a fledgling screenwriter on the brink of success; Tatum Connelly is a struggling actress tending bar in a New York City dive. They fall in love, they marry, they become parents, and they think only of the future. But as the years go by, Tatum’s stardom rises while Ben’s fades. In a marriage that bears the fallout of ambition and fame, Ben and Tatum are at a crossroads. Now all they can do is think back…

“A life of passion, joy, tragedy and loss --- once shared --- becomes one as shifting and unpredictable as a memory. As the pieces of their past come together, as they explore the ways love can bend and break, Ben and Tatum come to see how it all went wrong --- and wonder what they can do now to make it all right.”

"BETWEEN ME AND YOU is a beautifully woven story that inspires self-reflection, laying bare each spouse’s motivations and innermost emotions."

I like to start a book knowing nothing about it, so I don’t read the back cover. Instead, I prefer to go in and let the author guide me through the story. However, had I read the back of this book, perhaps it wouldn’t have taken me several chapters to figure out the innovative construct of the story that Scotch frames in a unique, creative and effective way. Ben’s point-of-view chapters are told from 2016 backwards in time, and Tatum’s chapters unfold chronologically from 1999 forward. This reverse timeline is beautifully done, and as a writer, I appreciate the difficulty and complexity of this structure. It’s impressively executed and satisfying when the story concludes.

In BETWEEN ME AND YOU, Scotch explores the experience of fame, something I’ve pondered through the years: the inability to give fame back, the undervaluing of anonymity, the overweighting of the glory, the losses and isolation, and the scrutiny. Through the characters, we peek into the experience of celebrity with its unforeseen consequences.

In life, everyone has the inherent need to be understood by another, to be seen. The story asks what it means to be seen, really seen, and how two people can navigate maintaining that connection within the demands and distractions of life.

BETWEEN ME AND YOU delves into the idea of choice and responsibility in one’s own circumstances. Tatum says, “The fact is this: nothing is done for you in this life if you don’t do it for yourself. I don’t care how many people claim they are ‘on your team’; the only person who can helm your team is you.” How does the way that someone reacts to external events, perceived offenses and internal interpretations ultimately affect the course of a life? As she considers that “a series of critical but small things all went wrong, and suddenly you’re in a million pieces on the ground,” Tatum realizes, “I chose this. I just didn’t realize I was choosing it at the time.”

Throughout the book, Scotch also makes readers consider aspects of ambition, disappointment, approval and resentment, as well as second chances, addiction and mediocrity vs. striving to be the best. I love a book that makes readers mull and think, evaluate and ultimately apply thoughts to their own lives. BETWEEN ME AND YOU asks a number of questions: Are we giving our life partners all they need? Are we being honest enough, accommodating enough, open enough, attentive enough? Can we do better? As a parent, what are the consequences of pushing a child of any age too hard, too little? What are the walls we build in our relationships, the lines we draw? And are they healthy, productive, necessary?

BETWEEN ME AND YOU is a beautifully woven story that inspires self-reflection, laying bare each spouse’s motivations and innermost emotions.

Reviewed by Leah DeCesare ( on January 19, 2018

Between Me and You
by Allison Winn Scotch

  • Publication Date: January 9, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1503941221
  • ISBN-13: 9781503941229