Exploring the “Betrayal” Theme

Exploring the “Betrayal” Theme

Everybody needs somebody fighting for them.

Eckhart Tolle describes the word betrayal as a heavy word, there’s a vast amount of potential story wrapped around that one word and “Betrayal” as a theme can be complicated.
I read Nicole Highland’s “Sweetest Release,” this weekend. Her debut – a light novella that was easy to read on a relaxing Saturday afternoon. “Sweetest Release” got me thinking about human duplicity as a theme.
Betrayal is sometimes painful to write about or to read. For most, it hits close to home. Whether a family member deceived you, a friend, a parent or a child, it’s deeply personal.
We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives, and for some, it’s been more life-altering than for others. Losing friends at school, having someone turn their back on you, gossiping behind your back, experiencing infidelity, or having a falling out with family members can be devastating. That dawning horror of thinking you knew somebody, that you were convinced of their substance, and then realizing that they are somebody else—a completely different person who never cared. Nicole Highland addresses that initial shock in the gamut of emotions that Natalie Sorenson runs through after her discovery of betrayal.

Why is betrayal such a profoundly personal theme?

You’ve trusted them with your soul, your passions, your dreams—the very essence of who you are. The very act of betrayal pulls that rug away, obliterating a secure future. The worst part is if you’ve fought for importance in that person’s life and they never made time for you. That’s when you blame yourself for walking so far down that path and for putting up with so much. Forgiving them over and over again. I like that Natalie doesn’t immediately seek escape. She faces the unfortunate task of going home after work every night and seeing her husband, and she goes to work every day while fighting for sanity.
Many times, especially in the romance genre when writing of betrayal, there’s usually a replacement partner—a knight in shining armor—standing in the wings, or a new friend on the horizon. A Devin Brandt in “Sweetest Release.” That’s what I love about the romance genre, that feeling of hope. Imagining a character getting their “Happily Ever After.”
That doesn’t always happen in real life. The reality is that you are your champion. The only person who will look after you is you. No one will come sweeping in to save you some circumstances. You have to love yourself and be there for yourself. It might be a lonely path, and it will be a long road. You become self-centric. Focusing on making sure that you are okay, at least for the meantime. Giving yourself time to mourn the death of a relationship and then, when it’s time, creating balance again in your life. Finding a new friend finding a new social club and new interests.
Most importantly… defining new goals. Sometimes, betrayal can lead you to a better life. It forces you to question your choices and clarifies a better future. One where you’re not afraid to take risks.
I look forward to tracking their love story and getting to know more about Devin in the next standalone novella, “Behind Brown Eyes.”

“Sweetest Release” – Available for purchase:



To watch Eckhart Tolle’s video on what we can learn through betrayal, click on the video below.

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