The Words between Us

A Novel

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"A story to savor and share. I loved every sentence, every word."
--Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and The Promise between Us

Robin Windsor has spent much of her life under an assumed name to avoid association with her infamous parents. She thought she'd finally found sanctuary running her used bookstore in quiet River City, Michigan. But when she receives an eerily familiar book in the mail on the morning of her father's scheduled execution, Robin is thrown back to the summer she met Peter Flynt, the perfect boy who ruined everything. Why would Peter be making contact now? And why does she have a sinking feeling that she's about to be exposed all over again?

With evocative prose that recalls the classic novels we love, Erin Bartels pens a story that shows that words--the ones we say, the ones we read, and the ones we write--have more power than we imagine.

"Erin Bartels has created a story that feels more like a memory, something I lived, than a piece of fiction. If you are the kind of person who finds meaning and life in the written word, then you'll find yourself hidden among these pages."--Shawn Smucker, author of Light from Distant Stars

"Vividly drawn and told in expertly woven dual timelines. Erin's characters are a treat: complex, dynamic, and so lifelike I half expected them to climb straight out of the pages."--Kathleen Barber, author of Are You Sleeping

Erin Bartels is the author of We Hope for Better Things. She grew up in the Bay City, Michigan, area, upon which River City is based, and has spent much of her life waiting on drawbridges. She now lives in Michigan's capital city with her husband, Zachary, and their son.


Erin Bartels, Author

Erin Bartels is the award-winning author of The Words between Us and We Hope for Better Things, a 2020 Michigan Notable Book and 2019 Christy Award finalist. A publishing professional for 18 years, she is a member of Capital City Writers and the Women's Fiction Writers Association, as well as the director of WFWA's annual writers retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She lives in Lansing, Michigan, with her husband, Zachary, and their son. Find her online at

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