The Eighth Wonder

Nicole Benson is a self-made woman. She put herself through school, sacrificing marriage and children for her career. In the summer of 1997, at the age of 35, she finally graduated with a Ph.D. from NYU, but her life is thrust into chaos when her father, the only person she’s ever leaned on emotionally, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. After fifteen years in New York City, Nicole leaves everything and everyone she knows to teach for a year in rural Bradford, Pennsylvania to be close to her father in nearby Buffalo. Now, trapped in tiny Bradford, she has never felt more alone in her life. . . until she meets Tom Ryan.

At 44, Tom represents what Nicole longs to be: settled, secure, and clear about his purpose and direction in life. Emotionally scarred, he and his wife of 23 years survived the death of their daughter to leukemia. Tom and Nicole’s story begins as a journey of self-discovery for both of them but turns to bittersweet tragedy when their friendship becomes love. Nicole risks offering what she has never given before, her heart; and Tom has never felt happier or more conflicted when he falls in love for the second time in his life. Their lives become intertwined and changed forever when they both must make the most difficult decision of their lives.


9 thoughts on “The Eighth Wonder

  1. Normally, I don’t read books that have to do with relationships but this was a great novel. I could relate to Tom and his feelings for Nicole.

  2. I have enjoyed reading your novel. It touched me in ways that I haven’t felt in a long time. I am a grandmother but I could relate to Nicole’s strength and independence, especially when I was younger.

  3. Ms.Young’s writing is spectacular. She used so much detail to describe each setting, a trait not seem very often in modern writing anymore. I also loved how she explored the characters’ emotions. Nicole, debating whether she should take a job closer to her father or choose the more prestigious place. Tom, wondering if his actions and feelings are for Nicole are wrong.

    FYI: There IS adultery in this novel. I know some readers strongly oppose
    the adultery in this novel, but it is written in a subtle, smooth way. This entire novel is about an unmarried woman and a married man loving each other, so isn’t it expected? Also, there are NOT any steamy love scenes

    The only complaint I have about this novel is the pace of the plot. It felt somewhat slow to me, but I’m a teenager and this is an adult contemporary romance. I think that all book-lovers, no matter their age, will enjoy this novel because of the writing and character development. It’s almost written like a literary classic. The Eighth Wonder was an enjoyable read that kept me thinking about it long after I finished reading it.

  4. When I first heard the title of this book, I immediately wondered what the “eighth wonder” was. So what is an “eighth wonder”? Here’s my definition: An object or place is dubbed “the eighth wonder” when the person christening it believes it deserves to be up there in the Hall of Fame with the seven wonders of the world. Maybe it’s the physical beauty, the historical background, or simply a place where this person has passed many happy hours. Ms. Kimberly Young’s eighth wonder is Kinzua Bridge in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Ms. Young also incorporated a lot of history about Kinzua Bridge in this book. Usually I don’t enjoy learning history, but I loved how Ms. Young intertwined facts with the plot.

    The Eighth Wonder is a deep, emotional, and rather slow romance book. It is not one of those romance novels with a young girl who suddenly falls in love with a sexy guy at first sight. The Eighth Wonder is much, much more than that. This is a great read, if you are looking for your next book club book, try this one, it won’t disappoint!

  5. A friend of mine recommended this novel for our book club and we each took something different from it. I loved the characters — they were compelling. I couldn’t put down the story because they each brought to the table a complex personality yet very real. This is a must read for your book club if you are thinking of a new author. I found Kimberly Young’s writing style to be great. Kudos to you, Kimberly!

  6. As a man, I never read this kind of book but I grew up near the Kinzua Bridge. I have to say that you did a great job describing the area. I live in North Carolina now but I could picture everything about the bridge and valley. It is a great part of our country that doesn’t get as much exposure. I could relate to Tom after being married almost 30 years.

  7. I don’t usually read romances but I could not put this book down. I was someone who had been married a long time and I could relate to Rose. It wasn’t easy at times to read about Tom and his love for Nicole but I could understand it, especially with the grief he and Rose felt after losing Lisa. I have friends who lost a child and they went through the same thing. The best part of the novel was that it ended well — it was realistic and meaningful. I really loved The Eighth Wonder!

  8. This was a great novel, you wrote such a great story. I read it all in one sitting. The characters were deep, I found myself relating to Nicole as I am not married and don’t have children. I was very career focused and only lately started to wonder if I was doing the right thing. This novel hit home….thank you for writing it!

  9. The writing was very good, I could picture every scene so clearly. I haven’t read an author in a long time who made the places and characters come alive so well.