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Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Winner's Game

Just when seventeen-year-old Ann Bennett believed she had everything going for her and she was truly at the top of her game, disaster struck that would change not only her life but the lives of her entire family. As a high school competitive swimmer Ann had hoped to clinch her final meet and show everyone just how good she really was. The butterflies she was used to feeling as nerves before each race, never bothered her until they began to attack her check and begin to bite as she was way ahead of all the other swimmers. It was at that moment that Ann died.

When the EMS crew revived her, tests would indicate that Ann had congenital cardiomyopathy, a defect she has had her whole life. It was the strain of swimming that caused her to have a seizure in the pool and then she went into cardiac arrest. She was truly lucky to be alive. But when Ann had hoped that she could be treated for the heart issue, she was dealt another hand of fate. She needed a heart transplant or she would die while possibly waiting for one. Each day until she received one, would truly be a wait and see game. A miracle. A day to be thankful for.

The strain is was having on her entire family was more than she could bear. Her parents decided to utilize the family beach house in Cannon Beach as a way to get away from everything and hopefully find a way to get back to some sense of normal if that was possible. Her parents were barely on speaking terms and were using the weekend as family time, while her dad would stay in the city during the week and work. It was a separation to see if they could work things out somehow and provide some peace to all their fighting when they were together.

Ann's youngest sister, Bree and her brother Cade were growing tired of all the special treatment Ann was getting having to pick up doing her chores so she could rest and not be strained in any way. While her brother looked forward to spending the entire summer at the beach, her sister Bree was more than resentful at having to give up her time with friends this summer just for Ann's sake. However instead of making things better, the in-fighting between everyone was simply growing out of control. It seems like nothing will help heal them until Emily, Ann's mother finds her grandmother's journals that outline the details of the success of their marriage. Quite simply, everyone must be willing to play The Winner's Game. But will there be enough time to restore what's broken in their family before fate intervenes for the last time?

I received The Winner's Game by Kevin Alan Milne compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. This is such an amazing story because of the depth Kevin goes through to show the feelings each of the family members is dealing with as each chapter rotates among all five. We get a sense of how they are dealing not only with the mortality facing them with Ann's heart, but also in coming to terms with how to move forward despite all the overwhelming odds working against them. Parents are fighting, kids are fighting, and Ann simply wants to be a normal girl for just the summer without people treating her any different. Is that even possible? I love the concept of the winner's game so much that we have incorporated it into our family. It truly is a life changing game! I personally rate this novel a 5 out of 5 stars and even cried when telling my husband about it. We both teared up as I told him how it all ended. That to me is a sign of a great novel when it can pull at your heart strings!

For more information about The Winner's Game, Kevin Alan Milne or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

You can find Kevin Alan Milne on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Winner's Game, please visit Center Street's Website. 

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