Okay. I agreed to review this book for all the wrong reasons. And once I got it, I became scared of it. Scared to read it. But to review it, and not tell you a bit of myself, you may not get my views, and you wouldn’t be able to understand the review. So here it goes.
When I was approached to read, and review this book, I was in a hard time myself. I had been married less than a year (granted, not the NINE days of the character in the book, Elise), and we were undergoing testing, on my husband, for cancer. Many medical professionals thought he had cancer. In his lungs. At the end of Feb. (I was emailed Feb 6th), my husband quit smoking, and we found out his latest scan is clean. (as of June, we still have 1 more scan to go, but all looks good). So I agreed to this book back in Feb. in an attempt to give me something I could read that I could relate too, and a way to justify and deal with my anger, and my own issues.
That said, I picked up this book this morning, simply because I needed to focus on someone else’s problems – even if that someone is a fictional character. I have finished it, in less than 12 hours. And it’s not because it was a short book, it isn’t. But it was a completely captivating read.
Right away you are thrown into the issue at stake. Ben and Elise have been married for days. And now Ben is killed. Immediately you want to know what happens. Over the next 350 pages you learn of Ben’s mother. His father. Elise’s parents. You learn of their courtship, and Elise’s healing. And while Elise may never completely heal, she starts to make an effort.
This book, while fiction, states some very important messages. It is okay to grieve. It is okay to NOT want to heal. It is okay to cry. It’s okay to depend on others. Life is not always fair. Life will get better – when you are ready to allow it too. (oh, and it’s not okay to assault someone while at work… )
This was a really good book. Nicely thought out, and wonderfly written. I’m glad I agreed to it. I am also glad I waited sooooooo long to read it. Because while my husband is going to be okay, all these messages are still something I needed to hear right now.
And don’t think that this is a sad book, and that you will cry every page. It’s not like that. I laughed at a few spots. Susan (the “dreaded” mother-in-law) is great at laying it out like it is – and making everyone laugh, even the reader. Yes, it deals with a tough topic, but it’s done so well, that you can’t help and love it.
I home Taylor Jenkins Reid writes more books. And I hope I get the chance to review them in the future – if not, I will still pick them up and read them anyways.
Thanks Simon & Schuster for the change to read such a great book.