It’s interesting to me how some people who’ve gone through a difficult death in their life can read books about characters who are going through similar feelings, while others cannot. I can see where both ways would be very natural. Right after my mother passed away, I don’t think I could have read a story such as this, I would have been way too emotional. But now? Now I completely connected with Olivia and so much of what she deals with emotionally in this story! I’m not sure I would have even wanted to try this book prior to experiencing a loss in my life. Maybe, maybe not. But either way, I’m so glad I tried it now.
It was really the emotions that Olivia goes through, from anger and frustration to grief and heartache to all the myriad of feelings that are almost indescribable even to the one feeling them, that captivated me throughout this novel. Emotions are so very personal and we never know how we’re going to react to certain situations. Olivia’s emotional upheaval felt very real to me, they fluctuate and come and go, they don’t even make sense sometimes, which is very true to life.
As for Olivia herself? She’s not very likable in the beginning. Yet that’s part of her journey, realizing the parts of herself that need changing, and by the end I was solidly on her side. She has a lot of growth to go through and begins to realize how lost she is, how much she cannot do on her own. Her relationship with her parents, especially, is quite turbulent. I have to admit that I didn’t really like Olivia’s mother. I think that was the point, but she reacted so judgmentally. I really wanted her to see that how she was acting was not coming across as loving at all, hence why Olivia reacted so strongly in retaliation. But Ruthy, Olivia’s grandmother, on the other hand? I loved her! She was a breath of fresh air every time she entered the scene, imparting wisdom and truth into her granddaughter’s life. Working through her family relationships is not easy and requires much patience as each step forward seems to come with a half step back. But little by little, Olivia’s chaos begins to settle and I was happy to see it!
Ms. Allan’s writing flows easily, although I did think some of the flashback scenes, especially in the beginning, got a little confusing since we jumped back and forth between them and present day with not much explanation. As the story went on, things smoothed out a little better, which I appreciated. The romance is quiet and in the background, with just enough sweetness to keep me grinning. I liked Evan quite a bit! All in all, it’s a simple story with lots of layers. As they peel back one by one, there is a lot of heart to be found and enjoyed! 🙂
Support this site by buying the book through the links below. Thank you very much!