The Six Train to Wisconsin - Kourtney Heintz
Sometimes saving the person you love can cost you everything.
There is one person that ties Oliver Richter to this world: his wife Kai. For Kai, Oliver is the keeper of her secrets.
When her telepathy spirals out of control and inundates her mind with the thoughts and emotions of everyone within a half-mile radius, the life they built together in Manhattan is threatened.
To save her, Oliver brings her to the hometown he abandoned—Butternut, Wisconsin—where the secrets of his past remain buried. But the past has a way of refusing to stay dead. Can Kai save Oliver before his secrets claim their future?
An emotionally powerful debut, The Six Train to Wisconsin pushes the bounds of love as it explores devotion, forgiveness and acceptance.
I've had this book, and the sequel, on my review shelf for a few months and I'm just now getting to it. I actually flew through this book rather quickly despite it being a little over 400 pages. The point of view switches between Oliver and Kai. Oliver would do anything for his wife Kai, he literally would go to the ends of the world for her. Kai would do the same for Oliver but she is so wholly dependent on him because she's a telepath who makes terrible choices. She feels extreme guilt and wants to save everyone all of the time even at the cost of her life or sanity. Oliver does everything he can to keep her from falling apart. One day, after the death of a child at the hands of her father, Kai is in rough shape. Oliver has been working on a plan to help Kai and he has to put it in motion a little sooner than planned.
Cue their road trip to Butternut, Wisconsin (Oliver's home town) where Kai has effectively been kidnapped by her own husband. Her irrational anger and lashing out at Oliver made her a very unlikable character for me, and I really felt like smacking her upside the head so she'd see that Oliver doesn't want to be there either but he's sacrificing for her well being.
Oh, but it's not all easy because Mickey is also in Butternut, and Mickey is Oliver's first love. Kai is angry that Mickey is a shameless flirt and makes it clear she wants Oliver even still. Now, on one hand I totally get it- I'd be angry if some chick was throwing herself at my husband. But on the other, I'd like to think I'd have some faith in my husband to stay faithful. If you don't have trust then you have nothing. (Except let's remember Kai is a telepath so she knows what Oliver thinks so yeah.. you already know how this is going to go wrong.) My problem with Kai is she acts fairly childish, much like a child stomping her foot when someone tells her no. She drove me nuts this entire book.
I'm not giving Oliver a free pass either, he did lots of things wrong. Anytime you assume you know best for someone so you do things or you fail to be honest with them, it's going to blow up in your face EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And it does in this book, big time.
Mickey's son Lukas, who has taken a liking to Kai (mostly because he has his own powers like Kai, a bit different though so Kai naturally feels like she has to guide him) is kidnapped and in the search process, Oliver makes a HUGE mistake, which Kai witnesses. Cue her leaving instead of talking to him, Oliver making bad decisions, Mickey being an idiot, and we've got a seemingly lost little boy. We meet Nathan, Mickey's ex-husband, who is kind of nuts, and everything fall apart rather quickly.
I really liked the book but I can't give it five stars only because the first 3/4 of the book are SLOW. I kept wondering where the hell the drama was. It took so long to set it up that I almost gave up but then crap hit the fan and I was all in. Would I call this a fantasy book? No, not really. It's a romantic suspense if anything else. Sure, we have Kai and Nathan (and Lukas) with their weird powers but it wasn't enough of a thing for me to push it into a fantasy or paranormal category. It's a solid 4 star read though and I'm excited to read the second book!