Abigail Phelps has written her memoirs, but the world has never heard of her. So why should anyone care? Perhaps no one would, if not for Abigail's letter to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in which it is made known that John F. Kennedy Jr. is the great love of Abigail's life -- and more importantly, the reply from Mrs. Onassis which confirms the love was returned. The story of Abigail's life is so absurd it can't possibly be true, but as Dr. Alec Redmond sets out to prove that, to Abigail and to himself, he learns that reality is quite often in the eye of the beholder.
Put aside all you think you know and jump into the greatest love story the world has never known.
What readers are saying about I’VE LOVED THESE DAYS…
Brilliant fictional memoir
Bethany Turner has written an outstanding story narrated by a fictional character, Abigail Phelps, who describes a life of delusions involving close personal relationships with a series of famous real people. In addition to Abigail, the main characters are Christopher Dean, Olympic gold medalist in ice dancing, George Clooney, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. Other supporting characters are Robert Redford and Tom Hanks.
Bethany Turner introduces Abigail Phelps by having her psychiatrist describe her mental health issues and then allows the psychiatrist to include his notes at the end of several chapters. This technique is a clever way to blur the line between fact and fiction, and delusions with reality.
Ms. Turner has crafted a fascinating story and demonstrated her excellent writing skills. I have given this book a much deserved, 5 Star rating. I strongly recommend 'I've Loved These Days' to all who enjoy reading about complicated relationships, romance, and twists of uncertainty involving reality versus delusions.
Kenneth J. Kerr Amazon Review
A great story about delusions and how far they can take you, written with sure hand of a master storyteller
My family has a long history of mental illness, most profoundly with my grandmother, who has severe case of schizophrenia and had been under constant watch for many years. My mom was bipolar, with strong case of depression and so Bethany's book really hit home.
The story was a tiny bit confusing by starting it with a letter, but later on I completely understood why it was there on the first place. I usually don't like books with mental illness, or any kind of health issue playing the important "sidekick". This wasn't the case at all. Bethany's writing grabbed me almost instantly and didn't let go until the very last page.
Her writing was so beautiful and Abigail's story painted with sure hand of a master storyteller. I could feel every struggle, every wavering thought and unsure move of the main character. I absolutely couldn't wait what would happen next and what would the outcome be.
This is not a story about mental illness, but a story with mental illness in it and for me that's a huge difference. I couldn't be more happy that I had the pleasure of reading this book.
Stanislava Kohut Amazon Review
I read this book cover to cover and all I can say is “Wow!” Ok I will add, “What an amazing and creative story!”
That is about all I can say as a reviewer. There is no easy way to describe this book. I don’t want to tell you the plot, because it is so surprising and amazing, and a bit troubling, but also uplifting and thoughtful. You have to experience it for yourself- and please do. You will have a wonderful time reading about the unusual protagonist, Abigail, “Abby” Phelps.
Abby tells the story of her life, in the first person. She is engaging, captivating, self-deprecating, charming and endearing. She is fragile and strong. The story starts with her commitment for a three-day evaluation at a psychiatric facility. Her psychiatrist takes a special interest in her at the center, and continues to see her weekly for quite a few years. During the course of her treatment the doctor diagnoses her as delusional. But is she? Or does she simply have fantasies? Or is she just a master story teller? Whatever she is, Abby is a keen and accurate observer of men and women and how they become friends and lovers.
Her doctor encourages her to write down her stories, so that he can guide her into believing that they are a product of her personality disorder. Imagine his surprise when she tells him that she has compiled the stories into a memoir that is soon to be published. This is the book we are reading- her memoir, with psychiatric notes inserted by her doctor.
And yes, it all works thanks to the talent of the Author, Bethany Turner. This book is witty, loving, sad and a well-written good read. Enjoy!
Jena C Henry http://readersreviewroom.com/books-by-this-author/i-loved-these-days/
Reality is in the eye of the beholder
Such a clever concept, this book! Delusional Abigail Phelps is the patient of psychiatrist Dr Alec B. Redmond at the Cedar Springs Hospital in Colorado. After a couple of weeks he orders her discharge but continues to see her on a regular basis. As ‘homework’, he encourages her to write her delusions down to help her realise that they were simply figments of her imagination. After seven years of therapy, and just as Dr Redmond believes she no longer needs further treatment, Abigail informs him that she has put her isolated stories of delusion together into a book. She has written her delusional memoirs! In ‘I’ve Loved These Days’, Bethany Turner has us believe in her doctor who writes notes on Abigail’s fantasies throughout the book. The story is cleverly put together using real characters and events which are not fictitious. The facts and events can be researched through any internet engine and from time to time, I found myself doing just that! It is so cleverly put together that the reader becomes as intimately involved with the famous stars and celebrities as Abigail does herself. As Bethany says: ‘reality is in the eye of the beholder’.
I enjoyed this book although from time to time, I found Abigail very irritating and guess what, delusional! From being a world champion ice skater, she boots Meryl Streep out to star in ‘Out of Africa’, writes and stars in ‘When Harry meets Sally’ and takes the lead in ‘Pretty Woman’ alongside Richard Gere. She’s continually in love with two men, has more money than she knows what to do with and yet she is forever in floods of tears. Silly woman. Whoops, there I go again… it’s only a story!
Maggie Garside Amazon Review
FANTASY OR REALITY?
If you want to read fiction this is the perfect kind of book. Your wildest fantasy will be realized. And Bethany tells it in such a believable fashion. Blending all the stars that we know about into the story is pure genius because Bethany made sure the facts were all in place and correct. That’s what made the read so enjoyable and incredibly real. Abby wrote the script to “When Harry Met Sally?” REALLY?
So is it fantasy or is it reality?
Abigail was so good and perfect in everything she did except in one – her love life. John F. Kennedy and Cute Blonde Boy! It was a shambles. That was no fantasy because it’s so real to life. We all screw up. That is reality. But Bethany rewards us by bringing the fantasy right back in, giving us what we want – an escape from reality. The ending was left for a sequel and that's the hook that captures the reader. I enjoyed reading this book and the pace was just right, and the surprises! Oh My!
Congratulations Bethany Turner for giving us fantasy and reality blended together. You are a very good writer.
Shirley Harris-Slaughter Amazon Review
Original & Captivating!
Bethany Turner’s I Loved These Days offers a unique story line since the author weaves famous people and events into the plot of a captivating romance novel. Similar to how Forrest Gump matriculates through pivotal moments in history, Abigail Phelps, the book’s delusional main character, catapults herself into high-profile relationships. Comprised of two main components, the novel presents the main character’s memoirs as well as her psychologist’s notes, and since a note from her psychologist precedes the memoirs, the author purposely creates an unreliable narrator. The lack of reliability, though, does not make Abigail any less endearing, and the constant wonderment of Abigail Phelps’ true identity intrigues the reader. While the plot revolves around the big three (as Abigail affectionately calls them): George Clooney, Christopher Dean, and JFK Jr., the book takes place during the 80s and 90s. During those decades, Abigail dazzles the world as an Olympic ice dancer/skater and debuts in an Oscar-winning film. Like a little girl creating imaginary friends and dreaming big, Abigail Phelps fashions a life where she has fame, accomplishments, and romance.
Beyond the plot, the author should be praised for her writing style and her command of the English language. She creates realistic dialogue and emotional encounters between characters, offering scenes with humor, passion, and disappointment. This book, the anchor in an already published trilogy, shows Bethany Turner as a promising new novelist, meaning Mrs. Turner, unlike her protagonist, may achieve fame beyond her imaginary musings.
Kimberly V. Amazon Review
Engaging and heartbreaking at the same time…
This was an engaging fantasy written from the point of view of a delusional woman, Abby, who weaves in and out of 'famous' relationships with everyone from Olympic skater Christopher Dean, to JFK Jr., to George Clooney and Robert Redford. The more 'remarkable' her created worlds, the more heartbreaking it is to realize that it is all in her troubled mind and soul, all a fantasy. Sadly, many in our world are stricken with similar conditions and live this way, so it was a keen insight into how deep a delusional mind can get, how well crafted and detailed their concocted lives can be. I also loved how every chapter was the title of a Billy Joel song, Abby's favorite. An engrossing read.
Lisa Kirazian Amazon Review
Fresh and Original
I know Abigail is a fictional character--a delusional fiction character, writing a delusional fiction story of her life in the company various famous people. But for some reason, I kept thinking, "What if the psychiatrist is wrong? What if some of this stuff really happened?" Ha! The author got me. I started thinking of Abigail as a real person, only wondering about the truth of her story. Now that's quite an accomplishment, and the sign of a talented author.
But even if you remember that Abigail isn't a real person, you'll enjoy reading about her imaginary escapades. The whole book was simply clever--that's the best way to describe it. It's fun and fresh and original, and leaves you wanting even more.
Tamie D. E. Amazon Review
Rip-Roaring Tall-Tale … Great Fun!
Abigail Phelps undergoes a long process of therapy to combat her mental illness. She seems to suffer from delusions of grandeur, and a little paranoia about a certain Teddy Kennedy. Her therapist suggests that she write down her delusions, to help her see them for what they are. What results is a set of memoirs. And, as the blurb says, the reader has to "Put aside all you think you know and jump into the greatest love story the world has never known." I loved this book. It held me in thrall from beginning to end. So much so, that it completely jumped my TBR queue once I'd read a sample on Amazon. LOL. I noticed a few hiccups here and there, but the story was so good that I easily ignored them. Although sometimes, the fact that hyphens were used instead of dashes, did mean I had to reread something to get the sense.
One thing I almost cannot forgive, though, is that the author completely obliterated the existence of Jane Torville, ice dancing champion of the eighties. I grew up with Torville and Dean as my idols, I tell you. When I got to that part of the book, it was like; No! How could you??!! But then I saw the funny side. In fact, the whole book is filled with a marvellous sense of humour. And although the book is full of lies (erm ... delusions), the characters are all well drawn and believable. I cared what happened next. So, even though I am cringing at what Ms Turner may do to my favourite famous people next, I absolutely have to read the next book in the series. On which point, although I'VE LOVED THESE DAYS is the first in a series, it works incredibly well as a standalone book. If you love rip-roaring tall-tales, then I heartily recommend this book. A solid five stars from me.
Harmony Kent Amazon Review
A delightful, entertaining, and creative story that is also well written. I fell in love Abigail. I cheered her on, wiped away her tears, sympathized with her, and hoped she would find the love and happiness she so sought for. The interjections of her psychiatrist were informative and kept the story real from Abigail's delusions. Congratulations, Bethany, you entertained me and now I have started "Scenes From Highland Falls."
Karen Ingalls Amazon Review
What an emotional roller coaster!!
"I loved everything about this book – from the way the author chose to present the story (very unique – but I won’t spoil it) to the tragic love story–or should I say ‘stories’? She definitely knows how to write a love scene–with or without the sex. The passion was nearly tangible. I can’t wait to read the other two books in this series. I’m hoping I read the right one first because I would hate to have missed anything. Very enjoyable and entertaining read!!"
Traci Sanders http://readersreviewroom.com/books-by-this-author/i-loved-these-days/
A Growing-up Fairy Tale!
Abigail Phelps, daytime dreamer and ice dancing deva, takes readers on a twirl through her incredible journey of hobnobbing with well-known celebrity hunks--those guys we all adore. Turner puts a new twist on reality and romance in this contemporary fairy tale--one that kept me turning pages. I simply loved "I've Love Those Days," and look forward to reading more in author Bethany Turner's Abigail Phelps series.
Bette A. Stevens Amazon Review
Romancing a book.
I saw this book on twitter then the screen changed and I couldn't find it again. For two days it bugged me. I knew it had Ice skates on the cover and was about a figure skater and JFK jr. For two days, not straight, I would peck out a search combination to help me find it. I finally found it. Glad I did.
I'm an Author so maybe I read it different than other people but it was an incredibly far fetched unbelievable story that sucked me right in. That was the point. I would get into the story then be reminded, BANG, it's a delusion. I so loved and bought into the story. I used some of the same tools in my writing but as a supplement, not the whole story. The thought that kept occurring to me when I would put it down, (I put it down three times, read it in two days) was that this was the delusion/imagination of the author about a delusional woman writing her delusions. The romances and relationships are completely crazy and far fetched. Men don't behave like that, at least straight men don't but I didn't care.
The protagonist, Abigail left me wanting to see her. You never get a good description other than she is blonde, athletic and beautiful. This left me to fill in the blanks on my own. I like it that way. Now she belongs to just me.
This is nothing I would normally ever read but one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. It was very different and a great deal of fun.
Jack July Amazon Review
Captured my interest from the very first page!
Every now and then, you read a book that exemplifies what a good book is all about. I’ve loved these days is one of them. From the very first page, this book captured me and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Ms. Turner did an excellent job in captivating my interest and not just with theme and plot, but also with words. Yes, words. I think I enjoyed the story so much because I could relate to her characters. Although fictional, everyone in my generation knows George Clooney, and J.F.K. The ice dancers in her story are familiar as well. It was almost as if I was reading some well-scripted tabloid, or a biography. Well done, Bethany Turner - I can’t wait to read more of Abby’s delusional chain of events.
Nana58 Amazon Review
Entertaining and Emotional
What a fun and emotional read! I thoroughly enjoyed "I've Loved These Days." The author took a huge risk using such famous names for her characters that made up the delusions of Abigail Phelps. However, I think that using the rich and famous made it extra special to me as I grew up with these individuals and knew of them through television. I also wondered if Abigail's last name was based on no other than the famous Olympic gold metal swimmer.
Besides that, the story flowed well from beginning to end. The further into the story I read, the harder it was to put down and more the emotional the story became. Plainly, I loved the writing, the style, the characters, the plot, and everything in-between. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Kimwrtr Amazon Review
Brilliant: you don’t even have to daydream.
Dear Mrs Onassis… even to me, English to the core, those three words screamed “Jacqueline Kennedy”. Bethany Turner has found the all-time brilliant hook, and she doesn’t disappoint. If you want to relax and forget reality “I’ve Loved These Days” is the book for you; you don’t even have to daydream. Abby Phelps, with the occasional input from Dr Redmond, a psychiatrist from Colorado, does it for you. George Clooney… John Kennedy Jr… Christopher Dean… and so many others, closer than you’ll ever get to them any way but this.
Sarah Stuart Amazon Review
I loved this book. It was so hard to put down so that I could sleep!
I loved this book. It was so hard to put down so that I could sleep! The book kept me wondering what was going to happen next or what new thing Abby was going to insert herself into. I was pulled emotionally into each relationship that Abby had! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves ice skating, complicated relationships, mystery, and love. Also, prepare to hate Ted Kennedy ;).
Andrea Goodreads Review
A brilliant and intriguing story
I would be hard-pressed to classify this work of fiction into a category. What a unique and original story. Abby Phelps is a patient suffering "delusions of grandeur" who is seeing a psychologist. He suggests that Abby write down these delusions so they can discuss them. The remainder of the book is the result, Abby's memoir. She fancies herself an internationally-known figure skater, having won several Olympic gold medals. Her best friend is George Clooney, one of her love interests is JFK, Jr. She stars in a movie with Robert Redford. The author lines up these happenings and their timing with real life so much so that you begin to wonder if there isn't some truth to the story. I really became invested in Abby's character. I laughed and shed a few tears as I rooted for her. This really is brilliantly and intriguingly done. I can't wait to read Book Two of this trilogy to see what "happens" in Abby's life next. 5 of 5 stars.
AuntieK3 Amazon Review
“Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.”
Though some human experiences are undoubtedly stark or sensational, sad or joyous on any scale, it has always been true that any given set of circumstances may be handled by different people in different ways; and that therefore at that level, any person’s ‘reality’ is largely a figment of her or his own imagination. It is also true that the vast majority of ‘ordinary’ people envy the ‘glitterati’ – the rich, talented and famous who seem to “have it all.” In ‘I have Loved These Days’ Bethany Turner has taken this ‘wannabe’ strain in the human psyche and combined it with our species’ peculiar predilection for fantasy by creating a female character who must have diligently researched the lives of a particular set of celebrities widely judged to be among the most ‘attractive’ men on the planet in order to create a fantasy life for herself as a pivotal person in all of their lives.
The result is a well written, almost spookily believable, and at times uncomfortable read about someone presenting herself as a world class skater, Oscar-nominated actress and acclaimed screenplay writer with the ability to fascinate and influence a string of very good-looking, talented and successful men in sport, politics and film. As a male reader I found it an interesting peek at these aspects of the female psyche taken to such extremes, and found myself wondering to what extent female readers identify with Abigail Phelps, albeit it from a far more ‘normal’ position in the continuum.
Bethany Turner is at pains to point out that Abigail is a figment of her own (Abigail’s) imagination, and that in ‘reality’ the life she describes has nothing to do with the lives of the famous people – most of whom are still alive – she has hijacked for her purposes; but the doctor and his occasional interjections did strike me as tokenistic, and I was left with more than a sneaking suspicion that Bethany had indeed loved the days she had spent creating this fictional world for her fictional self.
Peaceseeker Amazon Review
This book really surprised me – in a good way!
This book really surprised me - in a good way! As usual, I went into this book without really knowing what the premise was, but was immediately hooked!
The story starts out with a psychiatrist's first assessment and ongoing evaluation of Abigail's mental problems, stating she has delusions. In procuring her return to good mental health, Abigail writes a story about her delusions... and those delusions are the actual story. The story of Abigail Phelps is basically a fantasy story where she inserts herself into historically TRUE events, in place of the celebrities who actually were involved. ... She dreams herself up quite the sensational life! She is the ice skater who partnered with Olympic gold medalist, Christopher Dean - together, Dean and Phelps won the gold medal, and not Dean and Torvill, as is really the case. She also lands herself in a movie and writes a book.
The story is so fantastical, Abby goes on to become good friends with big Hollywood celebs like: George Clooney and Robert Redford and has romantic relationships with both JFK Jr. and Christopher Dean, and is forever torn between the two.
I got caught up in Abby's romantic delusions and even went so far as to look up the 1984 Olympics to see the real performance of Torvill and Dean. I was looking for the happily ever after.... which I didn't quite get. Hopefully that will come in book 2!
Suzanne Goodreads Review
"I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. When I first started I’ve Loved These Days by Bethany Turner I was a little skeptical. The book begins with a letter to Jacqueline Onassis. That was enough to grab my attention. The following pages are notes from Dr. Alec Redmond. Dr. Redmond is the psychiatrist who is treating Abigail Phelps, the strange protagonist of the story. I thought here was another book about a mentally ill person and her psychiatrist.
What I didn’t expect was a well-plotted story; the chronicle of a madwoman.
Basically, Abigail Phelps is suffering from a delusional disorder in which she is convinced she is famous, and has an ongoing relationship with John Kennedy, Jr. However John’s uncle, Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, opposes the relationship and is actually a threat to her
Written as a memoir with side notes from Dr. Redmond, the story is both compelling and disturbing. As Abigail composes her memoirs the story unfolds against the back drop of the world of ice skating. Beginning with the formation of her life-long friendship with actor George Clooney, moving on to a skating relationship with Olympic Gold Medal Winner Christopher Dean, and culminating in a doomed romance with John Kennedy, Jr. Abigail becomes involved in complex associations with real life people. It’s obvious Turner has done her research. Her descriptions of the characters; their mannerisms and language, is spot on. She captures their identities and adroitly weaves them into her fantasy world. There were moments I forgot I was reading what was supposed to be the memoir of a mentally ill woman. The relationships rang true, the dialogue believable.
I found it particularly interesting that Abigail Phelps believes she has been an Olympic ice skater, a world famous actress, a brilliant writer, and the fiancée of Kennedy. The identities she claims as hers are actually real people; different real people. She is Meryl Streep, Nora Ephron, Meg Ryan, and Jayne Torvill. Incredibly the character Phelps sees no confusion in this. Of course Phelps is supposed to be mentally ill so it is not beyond belief she would see herself in these different identities.
Essentially I’ve Loved These Days is a book about a mentally ill woman writing her memoirs. But that description is much too simple to define this gripping tale. It truly is a book you must read to fully appreciate the intricacies of the plot. More than just an ill-fated romance, it’s unique, creative, and unforgettable. I have already added the next two books in the series to my Kindle. In short, I’m hooked.”
Elizabeth Horton-Newton http://readersreviewroom.com/books-by-this-author/i-loved-these-days/
You’ll never look at particular historic events in the same way again.
Nothing is as it seems. Abby lives a fantastic life -- you will be amazed by her adventures and the people she meets! Her psychiatrist is not really sure that everything Abby tells him is true, beginning with her assertion that Ted Kennedy is behind her being committed to a psych hospital. As her story unfolds, and as her doctor learns all the ins and outs of Abby World, you'll find yourself completely drawn in. And you'll never look at particular historic events in the same way again.
Anne Goodreads Review