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Together With You by Victoria Bylin | Book Review

Together with You by Victoria Bylin is a lesson cloaked in a love story.  Carly Mason and Dr. Ryan Tremaine  meet when Dr. Tremaine's daughter Penny runs off in a mall.  He finds her at Carly's toy store, but not before Carly takes an immediate interest in Penny.  Penny, the result of an affair Ryan had years before, has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  Specifically, Fetal Alcohol Effect which is the lesser of all evils when dealing with FASD.  Up until six months ago, she lived with her mother- however she died in a car accident.

Ryan convinces Carly to become Penny's nanny, but she's hesitant at first.  She's working on her Doctorate, but an incident that happened years before causes her to shy away from this opportunity.  Over the summer, Carly helps Penny cope better with her disorder, and helps Ryan's family, including his older sons, become closer.

As the summer wears on, their attraction to each other grows.  Penny adores Carly, and vice-versa.  There's a little bit of drama when Carly's aunt (her mom's sister) tries to move back to the area and wants custody of Penny.  Honestly, the author did such a great job with writing the snotty aunt character that I felt like I could / would have throat chopped this chick in real life. To be clear, the aunt, not the author!

I really liked this book.  It's the first that I've read- not surprising since there's not many on the topic- that had to do with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.  It's one of three or four themes of the book and it offers great insight into how the mind of a child with FASD works.  The note from the author at the end of the book left you with one very important point: FASD is completely, 100% preventable.

Other themes of the book included:
  • Self-forgiveness- Both Carly and Ryan experience this in different ways, at different points.
  • Romance- By the title alone, you can tell that there's going to be a little of this in there.  The majority of the book is that they like each other but the other doesn't know/ they don't want to act on it.  Because of the whole employer / employee thing.
  • Faith- Ryan doesn't believe in God and Carly does.  This comes out in a few different ways, but not at all in an overbearing sort of way.
Overall, I think this is a wonderful way to get the word out a little bit more about the effects of drinking while pregnant.  I honestly wasn't aware until reading, the particular physical and emotional effects Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders include.

This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers in return for my open, honest opinion… Like I'd give anything else!!

Linking with Life According to Steph a day late for her monthly reading link up!
Also, with Pampers and Pearls


  1. This book sounds really interesting. I guess I don't really know a whole lot about FASD and so I would probably learn some things!

  2. I didn't (and still don't) either. I forgot that a kid in my school had a worse version of what's described in the book. As Bylin was describing some symptoms and effects, it kind of clicked, that was what was going on with that kid.


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