Arc provided by St. Martin's Press through Netgalley
It's a universally known truth that I love Sarah Addison Allen writing style. I love the voice she gives to her stories, the way her characters are crafted and, basically the way she creates the most vividly real scenarios.
She's definitely a word painter. She uses earth tones to do it, but then all of a sudden she sprinkles her canvas with fairy dust and enchanting elements that just leave me well and truly hooked. (This just baffles my rational self...)
This was no exception... although it's definitely more melancholic, quieter and, basically, more grounded in everyday life than some of her previous works.
This is a story about grief. About grieving. How it can take over your life, if you let it.
The Morris women know all about it. Apparently it's their curse.
This part immediately made me think about Practical Magic. The book written by Alice Hoffman (yes, I know I'm always talking about it, but if you read it, you'll understand why. So... just go read it.), and later on adapted to the movies. Do you remember how it starts?
In this story, something bad happens to Kate, and for awhile she just shuts down... until the day she wakes up to life again.
After that, it's Kate and her daughter Devin, trying to find another place for them in the world.
The grief in this book is the type that almost makes people stop living.
There's also people haunted by their past mistakes who won't let go of their ghosts.
Friends as only the author knows how to write, determined to never let go, no matter what.
People who insist on not being happy. A boy and a girl who may even be perfect for one another, and a lot more.
Yes, a lot more...
I've been extremely undecided about this book's rating.
Did I liked it?
Of course I did! I don't think the author will ever be capable of writing a book I'll actively dislike!
Was this book everything I wanted, and more?
Humm... not quite. Due to the theme of the book, this story was definitely more toned down on the magic, and romance department.
But even so, I was at all times engaged in the story.
The problem is that the author created such amazing books in the past, that I'm betting it's getting harder living up to the standard.
Maybe my biggest problem with this story is in regard to the way it ends.
Now, don't be scared, nothing wrong happens!
It's just that I found myself wanting more of the characters!!
I wanted to see them fighting for what they wanted! Like for instance, I wanted to see this regarding Lisette and Jack's relationship... that I mostly found disappointing. I just couldn't feel anything between them!!
Maybe he could have learned sign language and tried to teach her... as a way of giving her more words.
I wanted "more" from Wes and Kate. More feelings, more emotion! Even if it was just directed at a promise, of something to come... one day.
It was frustrating that most of the characters didn't have a quarter of life in them when compared to Devin, an eight year old child.
Maybe I would have wanted to see Eby sending a postcard from one of her journeys.... as a sign of change.
Selma... I liked her. She wasn't someone easy to like. She broke the pattern...
Maybe in the future we will get some short story from her pov, regarding her friendship with Bulahdeen.
Of course by then, hopefully she will be widowed... or divorced. (NO, I'm not being mean! Read it, and see for yourself!!)
Now, due to all of the things that that idiot Lazarus never did, regarding his nephew, sorry, but I'll be hoping for the first case scenario...
To conclude, let me just say, that even though this wasn't my favorite story, I will still be buying this book, and occasionally re-reading it.
Because I liked it.
P.S. - LOVE the cover!!
Even though now, after reading the story, I finally understand the reason of that first cover with the crocodile, I don't care! I fell in love with this one!
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