Since I Last Saw You is a novel which conveys an inspirational message within a heartwarming story about love, loss and gratitude. Meet Ali and Isaac; this is their story.
Vivacious and fetching, Ali Benevento grew up in the mellow, rural community of Mount Vernon, WA—riding horseback, playing piano, and longing to tour European vineyards.
Athletic and daring, Isaac Berg was raised in the Dayton suburb of Xenia, OH, taking on any activity that promised to keep his adrenaline pumping at peak levels—earning him the nickname Iceberg, for his fearless nature.
When the two meet at Stevens Pass ski lodge, even the surrounding snow can’t keep the sparks from igniting a profound love that will consume them both.
For more than a dozen years, safe-and-sane Ali and daredevil Isaac—a seemingly unlikely pair—create an idyllic life together in the peaceful, picturesque community of Issaquah, WA. Ali loves her job as a wine buyer, which sends her on frequent trips to Europe. Isaac adroitly manages his chain of auto parts stores during the week and blissfully pilots his sprint race car on the weekends. Both before and after the welcome arrival of their daughter, Zoe, it’s a formula that keeps them all happy. But as Zoe gets old enough to start making her own decisions, her parents wonder, which of us will she emulate?
Just as Ali and Isaac start to grapple with questions about their daughter’s proclivities, a sudden tragedy derails their futures and casts Ali into a life she never imagined . . . a life without Isaac and Zoe.
Anchored and empowered by the unfailing love of her parents, siblings and best friend, Ali does her best to deal with her grief and forge ahead.
When Thanksgiving approaches—which had always been Ali’s favorite holiday—she shies from a traditional family celebration and chooses to spend the holiday alone in her family’s mountain cabin. Still struggling to understand her anger and her shame, Ali hopes the solitude will provide insight about how to rebuild her life. Much to her surprise, the search for a future leads back to her past.
A stormy night, a classic movie and a vivid dream combine to provide Ali with the inspriation to recall and reclaim relationships with significant friends and mentors from earlier periods of her life. She begins to wonder, did I ever tell these incredible people what a positive impact they had on my life? Did I ever truly thank them?
Determined to express her gratitude—however belated—Ali decides to write each of them a personal letter of appreciation. Driven by an overwhelming desire to deliver these special thank you notes herself, she makes the courageous decision to undertake a year-long road trip across America.
Ali’s solo travels take her to destinations as diverse as a small farm in eastern Washington, a heliport in Montana, a speakeasy in Nebraska, and a prison in New York. Along the way, she gains new, and sometimes unsettling insights about herself, her late husband and what it takes to survive—and thrive—after the loss of a love.