“Portlander Kevin Sampsell’s hometown serves as the backdrop for his new novel about two recently split 30-somethings and parents trying to build a new life together. This is Between Us is five chapters, each encapsulating a year in the life of the relationship and developing family. The story is presented in a journal style somewhere between internal monologue and a love letter.
In the beginning, excitement and attraction fuel their days. Closing down the bar, drink for drink, hand in hand, on nights without the kids (they each have one) makes for a memorable night. A couple of years later, a self-timed “ordinary family” photo becomes the most cherished gift on a Christmas morning for our narrator. He shares the sweet sentiment: “Eight legs, eight arms, four hearts.”
In between the infancy and revelation—doubts, distrust, and running away; doubts, trust, staying put and working it out.
The very personal, minute details of this couple’s story are mesmerizingly prosaic. Sampsell constructs a quiet and honest ultra-reality that slyly becomes profound. He is telling us something about ourselves.
We are selfish and stubborn and flawed, and never as good as we want to be. But we also have an amazing capacity to love, and when we do, we can trump it all.”
—NWBookLovers contributing editor Brian Juenemann in his monthly column, “The Local Shelf,” The Register-Guard
If you can’t get to the Powell’s mothership to buy the book from Kevin, himself, get to IndieBound.