Reviews

Reviews for Mended Wings: A Flicker’s Tale

“A young woman with a traumatic brain injury moves forward with the help of a diverse collection of friends in Imhoff’s latest novel. Kim “Flicker” Frechette was only a teenager when a drunk driver smashed into her car and derailed her life. Now she’s in her early 20s and chafing at the confines of the group home that she shares with two other girls, Lori and Beth. She’s still slowly recovering from brain damage from the accident, and she processes information more slowly than most other people do. However, she resists when people put her in the same category as her developmentally disabled housemates: “I wasn’t born like this,” she thinks. “I used to be smart.” As she explores the thrills and trepidations of her increasing independence, she begins to understand that making adult decisions is not easy. Fortunately, she has a group of concerned friends to help her negotiate the transition: Katie Martin, who runs the local bookstore, and her partner, Annie Curtis (whose story is told in Imhoff’s previous novel); and short-order cook, Jesse Davis, an ex-school teacher with his own traumatic past. Together, these mentors watch out for Flicker, particularly when her choices lead her into potential danger. Imhoff ties the protagonist’s somewhat delayed coming-of-age story to more serious issues of date rape, domestic abuse, sex trafficking, and the long-term effects of brain trauma, and the resulting narrative is both educational and suspenseful. Flicker is an engaging character as she gradually learns which people to trust and which to avoid and as she grows to appreciate the innocent kindness of Lori and Beth rather than distancing herself from them. That said, the narration sometimes feels like a didactic educational pamphlet about traumatic brain injury, and the characterizations are sometimes simplistic. For example, Flicker’s boyfriend is so one-dimensional that it’s hard to understand what draws her to him, and her friends seem almost too good to be true. Still, readers won’t be able to help cheering Flicker’s triumph over those who seek to take advantage of her. A touching, absorbing story of a vulnerable person confronting obstacles on her journey toward pride and self-reliance.”  – Kirkus Reviews

“Timothy Imhoff’s coming of age novel, Mended Wings: A Flicker’s Tale, deals with the magic of possibilities as two seemingly broken individuals discover new hope and healing. Imhoff’s background as a therapist and advocate for people with disabilities, including those with traumatic brain injuries, gives the story an authentic feel, as the reader is made familiar with the issues and challenges TBI victims face in their daily lives. I was thrilled to discover where Flicker worked, as I had become quite familiar with the Cranberry Inn from the author’s previous book, Painted Wings: A Summer of Discovery, and was pleased to become reacquainted with Bill and his partner, Mark, and Bill’s niece, Katie, and her partner, Annie. Jesse and Flicker’s tales interweave beautifully as the two learn to trust and grow, and by helping each other, expand their own worlds. Mended Wings is a marvelous read, one that celebrates both the diversity and the interconnectedness of us all. It’s most highly recommended.” – Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite (Five Star Review)

“Mended Wings: A Flicker’s Tale by Timothy Imhoff is a Young Adult novel with a unique perspective. Not the typical high school drama that floods the market, Mended Wings features Flicker, a twenty-one-year-old girl who experienced a traumatic brain injury via a drunk driving accident. The language and setting are simple, but cover a very important topic. I liked that we got a peek into the mind of someone living with a traumatic brain injury. I also liked that Imhoff didn’t take us through Flicker’s journey in a voyeuristic manner. He crafted Flicker as a human being and, like any person, with both highs and lows. Flicker’s relationship with Jesse, the second main character, was a platonic one. It was one of the many surprises in their relationship, as I’ve come to expect some level of romantic subplots. I really liked the fact that Imhoff chose to go a different route. It made for a richer, more enjoyable read.” – Kayti Nika Raet for Readers’ Favorite (Five Star Review)

 

Reviews for Painted Wings:  A Summer of Discovery

“A recently divorced woman finds love where she never expected it in this novel. Annie Curtis is starting over. After 12 years of marriage, her husband reveals he is having an affair, and Annie finds herself in a new apartment, suddenly single at age 38. A college professor, she gets encouragement from a friend to open herself up to new experience, and Annie plans a summer road trip. She checks in at a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire, run by Bill Martin and Mark, a friendly gay couple. On her first night in town, Annie stops by The Bookstore, a popular bar and café and is immediately charmed by a local named Katie. They flirt, and when Annie returns for a night of women’s music, she becomes even more enchanted with Katie. The two women strike up a companionship, and it turns out that Katie is Bill’s niece. When Bill offers Annie a chance to stay and work at the inn for the summer, Annie says yes to the adventure just as things are heating up with Katie. Katie has her own history of loss and heartache, but the two women develop a strong bond, enjoying the weather, the town, and their newfound love. It’s only as the season winds down that a serious incident outside of The Bookstore brings Annie and Katie even closer. Now Annie must decide if this is a temporary fling or the beginning of a new life. Annie and Katie’s romance is as easy-breezy as their afternoons on the lake, which makes for a pleasant read. While the novel takes some time to shed its monotone narration (“Annie was beside herself for a few weeks”; “Annie taught on a semester-by-semester contract”), it eventually warms into a more natural pace and voice. Imhoff (Mended Wings, 2017, etc.) delivers some beautifully sensual scenes, but the couple’s sex life otherwise happens behind closed doors. The drama near the end brings some much needed gravitas to the pair’s puppy love. Lesbian stereotypes abound (leather vests and Indigo Girls concert), but Katie and Annie’s love is as tender as it is real. A charming summer romance that lacks depth but possesses heart.”  – Kirkus Reviews

“Painted Wings is a novel of compelling depth and inspiration. It was fascinating to follow Annie’s story as she overcame her betrayal and embraced her new lifestyle and all of the possibilities it offered. Painted Wings sends a strong message about getting back onto your feet again, embracing change, taking on new challenges, being open to new possibilities and self-discovery. Annie’s journey felt genuine and it was deeply captivating.”  – Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite  (Five Star Review)

“Timothy Imhoff’s contemporary fiction novel, Painted Wings, immerses the reader in the story of an academic’s adventure beyond her failed marriage and university position into something new, remarkable and exciting. While her plans are centered on a visit to a relative who lives in Bar Harbor, Maine, her first stop starts the magical processes of healing and self-discovery. Imhoff’s descriptions of Portsmouth had me wondering how I could manage a late fall New England vacation, perhaps in an inn just like the Cranberry Inn. His lead character is a joy to follow as she trains for her first half-marathon, rediscovers her love of art, and finds that a summer away can lead to a whole new experience. This story is beautifully written and is a truly enjoyable read. Painted Wings is highly recommended.”  – Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite  (Five Star Review)

“Painted Wings is a thoughtful story about acceptance and the celebration of diversity. Through Annie’s discoveries about herself and others, Timothy Imhoff explores the complexities of people, the prejudices and inaccurate opinions others may form, and the personal growth that is enabled when we all just accept each other as we are. It is also a story about friendship, love, moving on, and perhaps about being open to new challenges and experiences. The characters are very likeable too. The author brings out the story’s theme of diversity and acceptance in a natural way through the development of different sub-plots in the lives of different characters. I especially liked the summer camp for kids with disabilities – a place where they can excel at something for a change when they may be so used to struggling to keep up or fit in. Annie’s letting go of her past, developing her artistic gifts, and discovery of a possible new life for herself is an inspiring message too. This is a warm story about valuing differences and giving each other and ourselves the chance to be authentic.”  – Hilary Hawkes for Readers’ Favorite  (Four Star Review)

 

Reviews for There and Back Again, A Decade of Travel Tales

“There and Back Again is a fast-paced series of funny adventure stories from around the world. Timothy Imhoff brings the reader on a memorable ride of bucket-list activities that will have you laughing and adding to your own travel to-do list.”  – Pete Williams, author of Obstacle Fit

 

“Travel is just another word for life, and Tim Imhoff understands that the journey is meant to be enjoyed – whether he is cruising down a crocodile-filled river in Africa or seeking romance at the end of a hallway at the Chase Park Plaza.”  – Bill McClellan, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

 

“Timothy Imhoff’s travel memoir, There and Back Again, A Decade of Travel Tales, is informative and entertaining. The essential thing about travel memoirs, aside from the actual travel itself, is experiencing such a rapport with the author that his or her experiences feel shared, genuine and dynamic. Imhoff has that gift, and his travel stories are a delight to read.”  – Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite  (Five Star Review)

 

“Timothy Imhoff has succeeded in writing a humorous, to the point book that is a cute mix of romance and travels with his wife.  One can actually see Tim and Rachel’s relationship evolve with their shared travel and experiences. Overall, it is a great book that will help you make up your mind about traveling to all those places that you have been dreaming about.”  – Dr. Olivia Dsouza for Readers’ Favorite  (Five Star Review)