Norma Budden uses the spare time she gets, after fulfilling her responsibilities as a mother and grandmother, to write. You can say that her writing tendencies are nocturnal. Writing is her way of relaxing and enjoying her personal time. Norma’s initial writing prospects included writing songs and poetry, followed by authoring some nonfiction books, and then into fiction titles like If Only. She aims to create stories which evoke a deeply emotional response among her readers – along with adding just the right stroke of mysticism and romanticism. Budden has authored the Freedom in Love series, the readers awaiting for the fifth installment impatiently. If Only is a standalone and full length story that Norma has no intentions of extending into a series, yet.
The story swings from the past to the present and then back again like a pendulum. Demi, the main character of the book, birthed a child out of wedlock in high school, whom she gave up for adoption at the time since she was too young to take care of it. The story zaps back to the present day where Demi is married, has two kids, and is now conflicted about a decision she took about 16 years ago. Her firstborn child, her daughter, refuses to escape her thoughts. She finds herself constantly wondering where she might be and the urge to find her is getting stronger by the time. Demi has tried everything she could have done on her own – she took the help of a few private investigators, but was unable to find any useable clues to get close to finding her daughter. Finally, after finding no success in her own endeavors, she reaches out to the only person she thought she would never turn to – the father of her child, David Alexander, who was unaware of their child until now. She has complete trust in his ability to find their daughter.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster of journey that both of these characters undertake to find their daughter – it will bring about destruction to their relationships, and families, but they are determined to find her. Norma has written a narrative which easily gulps in the deepest of basic human emotions, making it impossible to stop reading – or not to empathize and relate to the characters.