I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Kathleen Long’s Chasing Rainbows today. From about six pages in, I was completely hooked on the story.  I loved it. I mean, I emailed Kathleen after I finished it saying, “Sometimes, as I read, I felt like you were writing MY story.” Is there anything better to say about a book, to have a character touch you, as the reader, so deeply?

Chasing Rainbows tells the story of Bernadette “Bernie” Murphy. Already reeling from the dissolution of her marriage, and an earlier tragedy that shall not be mentioned here so I don’t spoil anything, Bernie’s world is further rocked with the sudden death of her father.  Although Bernie’s father is dead, he’s still with her in spirit- he left her with life lessons in a journal. The trouble is, the journal is all in cryptograms, and Bernie must solve the puzzles in order to understand the wisdom her father left her. Her father always said, “In life, you either choose to sing a rainbow, or you don’t.”

Bernie takes this to heart, and starts examining every part of her life: the job she detests, her failing marriage, her best friend, her own personal demons.

At times laugh out loud funny, and at others, eerily poignant, Kathleen Long gives us a very real, very empathetic character.  Although I was rooting for Bernie- even elated for her as she faces down her despicable boss- I also often found myself frustrated with her.  For every two steps forward, Bernie would fall back.  But isn’t that life? We want the best for ourselves, yet we are often our own worst enemy, getting in our own way.

The more I learned of Bernie’s story, the more I identified with her. I cheered for her, I hoped for her success. I hoped she wouldn’t be too blind to the wonderful world of opportunities in her path.  I wanted her to find her authentic self, her true path, to be happy.  I wanted her to sing a rainbow. I wanted me to sing a rainbow.

Kathleen Long gives us a page-turning story, and a likeable character who we want to see succeed.  She’s got her flaws, for certain.  But these only add to the authenticity of the story. When Bernie fights with her best friend, we’re reminded that it is those we love the most who can inflict the most scathing pain. Yet they are also the ones we want most to forgive.

From chapter two on, a cryptogram begins each chapter. I had fun seeing if I could decipher at least part of the puzzle as I read the book.  A cool bonus to the story, and something you don’t see  every day.

I thoroughly enjoyed Chasing Rainbows. As I mentioned, I emailed the author afterwards. Nothing gives me more pleasure than being able to tell an author how much I appreciate them sharing their world with us as readers. I can’t wait to read more by Kathleen Long.