This book was so beautiful. It was tragic at times, but the overwhelming beauty of redemption and forgiveness and healing and family are themes that really elevate it to a level above novels that are sad for no reason to a novel that is inspirational and sweet.
“Brooke O’Connor — elegant, self-possessed, and kind — has a happy marriage and a deeply loved young daughter. So her adamant refusal to have a second child confounds her husband, Sean. When Brooke’s high school boyfriend Alex — now divorced and mourning the death of his young son — unexpectedly resurfaces, Sean begins to suspect an affair.
For fifteen years Brooke has kept a shameful secret from everyone she loves. Only Alex knows the truth that drove them apart. His reappearance now threatens the life she has so carefully constructed and fortified by denial. With her marriage — and her emotional equilibrium — at stake, Brooke must confront what she has been unwilling to face for so long.
But the truth is not what Brooke believes it to be.”
It’s truly a story that proves that the things we do in our youth have a way of affecting us for the rest of our lives. A decision made in her teenage years never ceases to haunt Brooke, until the events of the novel allow her to confront the past she has only ever suppressed and run away from.
What I loved most about this book is that there is a happy ending. There is a lot of heartbreak in it, which realistically reflects life at its most incomprehensibly brutal. But despite mistakes, anger, and ugliness, the end is a ray of hope.
Brooke can be frustrating at times, as well as her husband. They are both too stubborn and at times too afraid to talk to each other, and knowing the perspective of both gives the reader the opportunity to see that they could just heal their relationship if they would do ABC and say XYZ. Obviously, fixing any sort of relationship is never so simple, as human emotions and insecurities get in the way, and Ferris keeps the reader dangling in uncertainty until the very end about whether or not Brooke and her husband will bridge the rift between them. Despite the frustrations that the characters cause the reader, there is still something lovable about Brooke. She’s a girl that any of us could be–had it all, was on the fast-track to greatness, but normal, happy, and loved–when one mistake made in fear changes everything for her. The reader cannot help but rooting for her as she struggles to reconcile her past and her future.
Set in New England (such a beautiful backdrop), the novel is surprisingly lovely and well-written for an author I’ve never heard of. If there has been buzz about her, I missed out. But it seems that there should be buzz about her. She is excellent at creating both story and setting, and her characters are rich and believable. I’d definitely recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good happy ending.