In the Mirror is the story of young mom Jennifer Benson – a woman who has it all: a successful career, a perfect husband, two kids, and abundant friendships. The only problem is she may be dying.
In the Mirror was inspired by a beautiful, intelligent, giving, perfect young mother I had the pleasure to know. Our kids are the same age. We lived near each other, and did all the same things moms with young kids do. We were on the same circuit. And then, one day, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She chose to become the champion for finding a cure in our city, to have the disease associated with her as she went public and raised millions of dollars during her almost decade long battle with the disease. Her story appeared in People magazine as her professional football husband retired to be by her side. Theirs was a love story for the ages.
Of course, In the Mirror is a work of fiction. What my friend’s journey inspired in me was a list of questions usually ignored by those of us mired down in the daily tasks of life: of getting kids from here to there, changing diapers, scheduling play dates and doctor’s appointments, checking homework, of working and trying to keep a marriage afloat. While her heroism continues to inspire me, her story, her situation, her diagnosis, inspired questions.
If you knew you might die soon, how would you choose to live and what choices would you make?
Jennifer, the protagonist of In the Mirror, decides to host a party to reconnect with all the people she cares about in her life, but what she doesn’t anticipate is having her marriage threatened by the sudden return of her high school sweetheart. In the Mirror is a story about sexuality, womanhood, and marriage in the face of serious illness that unfolds with humor and poignancy. It’s also a story about friendship and about love.
There is a whole other story behind the story of this novel’s road to publication. In the Mirror was first accepted by a New York publisher in 1997. The acquisitions editor died tragically before the contract was signed. But I never gave up on the story. Now, in 2014, it has finally arrived. I hope you’ll find it worth the wait. The reviews so far have been truly amazing and I’m gratified readers have found my characters relatable and the tough subject dealt with in a heartfelt manner.
And that’s the story behind the book.
Kaira Rouda is an award-winning, bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her books include: In the Mirror, Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs; Here, Home, Hope; All the Difference; and the short story, A Mother’s Day. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four children and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, @KairaRouda, and on Facebook at Kaira Rouda Books. And of course, on Pinterest! For more about Kaira and her books, please visit her website KairaRouda.com.