Stories That Touch Us.


3/1/20242 min read

Is there a story out there that impacted you in unexpected ways?

One of the highlights of my recent writing retreat was our book exchange. We were all invited to bring a book of our choosing, and when I finally settled on a single novel, I realized just how important it is to me. I felt called to share with you what it is and why.

The book I brought was A Day Like This by Kelley McNeil.

I vividly remember scrolling through Instagram one evening when it popped up on my feed. At the time, my anxiety and existential OCD were rampant, so I was struggling to focus anytime I opened a book. Romance novels with super predictable tropes were all I could stomach.

But when I read the blurb for A Day Like This, I was immediately intrigued, even though I simultaneously wanted to run full speed in the opposite direction.

For reference, here’s the part of the blurb that caught my attention:
“It’s a day like any other when she takes Hannah to the pediatrician…until she wakes hours later from a car accident. When she asks for her daughter, confused doctors tell Annie that Hannah never existed.”

Even just thinking about it caused me a lot of distress, because… well, existential OCD. A story like this would have most surely caused me to spiral. Even so, I turned to my husband and shared how interesting it sounded and that I really wished I could read it.

“But I’m just not strong enough,” I said.

Aaron replied, “You’re in control. You can close the book whenever you want and if you get scared, I’m here.” I brought the idea to my psychiatrist, who agreed it would be a great ERP exercise.

So, I started A Day Like This and absolutely devoured it. But I didn’t stop. I turned to suspense, thrillers, and other genres that involved big existential questions.

Kelley, if you’re reading this, thank you so much for this phenomenal novel and for being such an important part of my OCD recovery. If I hadn’t picked up A Day Like This, I likely wouldn’t be reading books like this, much less writing them.

I can only hope that someday my books will be more than just stories to others, the way that A Day Like This is so much more than a novel to me.