Book Reviews

Expiation by Greg Messel | Book Review

Expiation by Greg Messel | Book Review Expiation by Greg Messel
Genres: Fiction, American Literature
Original Publication Date: 2010
Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon

Expiation is a story of first love. In 1968, Dan and Katie are one of the hottest couples at Ballard High School in Seattle. These high school sweethearts believe theirs is a love that will never die. But after high school, Dan and Katie go their separate ways. Thirty years later, Dan is back in his hometown of Seattle attending his mother’s funeral. The two former high school sweethearts reconnect in a most unexpected way . . .

Expiation Is The Story of A First Love

This is the love story of Dan and Katie, who are reunited after years apart.

Messel writes the love story of Dan and Katie,  They are the stars of their high school in 1960s Seattle, Washington. He is a hero football player. Katie is a cheerleader and homecoming queen. They believe that they belong together for always.

Life Changes For Them After High School

But when Dan goes away to college in California, he leaves Katie behind in Seattle.

Through a series of misunderstandings, they lose contact with each other.

During the years that follow, Dan marries a girl he falls in love with at the University of California at Berkeley, and they settle in San Francisco, where Dan is a newspaper reporter.

Katie marries a dentist. Dan has a daughter, Vickie, but his wife dies tragically of cancer. Katie’s marriage is a disaster, and she has no children. While Dan loves his wife Wendy, he can’t help wondering about Katie.

Dan’s mother dies in November 1999, on the eve of the new millennium. When he goes back to Seattle to attend his mother’s funeral:

About halfway down the long aisle, something made me glance up. Then I saw Katie. Could it be, after all of these years? I’m sure my solemn, sad mask slipped as I registered complete astonishment. It had to be Katie! I briefly broke ranks and gave her a quick hug, saying “Wait for me afterwards.” I sure hoped that was Katie or else I had just picked up a woman, who was a total stranger, at my mother’s funeral.

For years, he wondered what would have happened if he had stayed in contact with Katie after high school:

Katie was always with me. I fantasized about my alternative life would have been like if I had been true to Katie. What if I had come back to San Francisco to get her, like I promised I would? She was the one that got away . . . or more accurately the one I sent away.

Final Analysis

I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for a good love story, and this is a good one. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Katie and Dan are both good people. Dan really did love his wife, Wendy, but Katie was his first love. Will she also be his last?

Further Reading

The Story Behind ‘Expiation’ by Greg Messel

If you enjoyed this post, please read my review of No Cure for the Broken Hearted by Kenneth Rosenberg.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About Greg Messel

Greg Messel has spent most of his adult life interested in writing, including a career in the newspaper business as a reporter, columnist, and news editor. Greg lives in on Puget Sound with his wife Jean DeFond. Greg has written eleven novels. His latest is Dreams That Never Were, a fictional political thriller about events surrounding the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

I love books, writing, film, and television.

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