The story behind the story
Some people wish they could to go back and make one relationship in particular work out.
Mike Schwartz is one such person.
Mike is in the unique position to rediscover an old flame whose embers still burn within. Penny was the woman by whom all others were measured. Even though he never knew why, exactly, she dumped him during their college courtship, he believes that in the right setting, things could work out differently.
There are a million ways things could play out for those who seek to rekindle something best left unlit. But if there's a shot at happily ever-after, is it worth it? While there are many other threads woven together to create this story, I found the time that Mike and Penny have together to be a quality that lingers with readers long after they've read it. Readers either love or hate Penny - it depends what page they're on.
Speaking of pages, dealing with family starts on page one. Nearly all families have issues that are unspoken, but known. Mike senses his mom has been hiding something from him throughout his life, but he can't figure out what or why. Meanwhile, his brother, Larry, is a constant challenge. Rejected by his own mother, Larry is forced into life alone, save for Mike. Even after Larry commits the worst of offenses, Mike continues to look out for him. The whole time, Mike wonders if it was really Larry's fault because he find clues that suggest otherwise.
What's in a dream - a literal dream? For as long as Mike can remember, he's always seen a woman in a dream on his birthday. She's grown up with him, but he can't figure out why. Each time he sees her, more clues arise toward her identity. Did he make her up or is his subconscious trying to tell him an untold story?
Another theme some readers will pick up on is bullying. When Mike is a boy, the impact of the neighborhood bullies scar him into leaving his hometown. It takes years before he learns his mom's take on how to handle the situation was the right way to go. Admittedly, things don't always work out for many people (or for some of the other bullies), but for Mike, some events come full-circle to pay dividends never expected.