This sat for way too long unread on my Kindle, and when I was at a crossroads for stuff to read, I decided to read this one. Random choice to be honest. I began reading it last Sunday, and I finished it on Thursday. Not my quickest read ever, but I definitely still have some things to say about the book!
364 days ago, Amanda’s brother, Jonathan Tart, was put into prison, after killing Grace Marlamount in a car accident. Grace’s family chose not to press charges so he only got a year, but in that year, he cut all ties he ever had with his friends and loved ones. Now, he’s out, and Amanda has to deal with it and Henry Crane, who was in that car when it crashed and survived, albeit with horrible injuries. Is it ever possible for Amanda and Henry to heal what’s broken between them, and for Amanda to deal with her home life too?
Whilst many books have been written about people who have come out of prison and have had to deal with re-entering life as a citizen among that people who were hurt by it, I think Alexis has really hit a central theme here, and many readers, at some stage, will find this book relatable. I can almost guarantee it.
You can imagine that, if these characters were real people, the mere mention of Grace’s name would create a sense that there is a gaping hole in their lives, and it’s the same when you read the book as well. The gaping hole is still there: you know Grace is a character, but you have to piece her together because she’s no longer there. I think a lot of people will pick up on the fact that you know, and feel, she’s not there. And the way it’s been executed is brilliant.
But, for me, I found that the story had a plot that, whilst slightly over the place and at times completely untraceable, will reach out and touch the hearts of it’s readers. You should feel the hand of emotions reach out from the pages (or e-reader) and grab you. And literally rip your heart out.
I say this with full meaning behind it because the emotions that this book will make you feel are not extraordinary by any standards, but I find that it will send you on a rollercoaster, and will leave you, at best, confused about what you should be feeling, and in the best way possible too. The book is proud that it can do that.
A heartwrenching novel about finding yourself against the odds is how I would sum it up, and I loved it. When December rolls around, I’m sure that you’ll find out why as well. Good work Alexis.