Romance author J C Miller has written the book I didn’t know I wanted.
Each of Miller’s novels are unique, finding no plot template amongst them, but this! Believing in Bigfoot breaks the stereotype of romances by providing a refreshing and rarely found cast of characters in an angst-ridden love story with depth.
Despite the title, Believing in Bigfoot is not about romancing a Sasquatch but about love sparked in the Marble Mountains of Northern California, home of the mythical yeti.
Close friends Ruth and Meg go backpacking for the latter’s 60th birthday. When Meg falls and breaks her leg, she is helped by a grizzly mountain dweller. Ruth, who is in her mid-50s and desperately in need of glasses, initially mistakes the dishevelled beast for Bigfoot until she gets a closer look at the muscular man, Issac, who has come to their aid.
From here, Miller’s story begins a romantic rollercoaster of a younger man and an older woman struggling with issues of loneliness, independence, changes in life and fame. Issac was once a successful actor named Ian James, who revives his failed career when he comes off the mountain. Ruth is a retiring professor and a rising star in photography.
The friendship between Ruth and Meg is at the heart of this story, just as much as Issac and Ruth’s struggle to believe in each other and find their place in a new world. Almost equally so is the changing relationship Ruth has with her son, Sam, who is walking his own path in life. The relationships are beautiful and identifiable. They flesh out the characters and the central romance, adding a complexity and depth to the storytelling that doesn’t seem to be present in most romance novels.
Narrator Gary Galone puts a lot of heart into his storytelling, although it seems an odd choice to have a male narrator when the central characters are female. He does a fine job overall, but the falsetto voice he provides for Ruth is distracting at times, particularly given that he provides such natural voices to other female characters. Don’t let that dissuade you however. Galone is engaging and sweet and makes every character enjoyable. He is particularly good at fleshing out the fabulous plethora of character personalities created by the author.
I’ve enjoyed reviewing two other audiobooks by J C Miller to date and is this is by far the best. The writing seems more mature and the plot is equally as unique and delightful as the others. Miller is an author to watch out for because the stories are consistently good and each one is so very different from the last.
Running just under seven hours, Believing in Bigfoot was self-published by the author in April 2017 and is available through Audible.