Girl Well Read
Published book reviewer, blogger of books & book lifestyle products, wine drinker and polka dot lover. I’d love to review your book next! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@girlwellread), Pintrest, Litsy, Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, and ReadFeed (Girl Well Read).
A special thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown and Company for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Lauren Adelman marries her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, and they seem to have it all. They are good looking, popular, and Rory has signed with an NHL team. Rory shocks everyone—most notably, Lauren—when he enlists in the U.S. Army. When Rory is killed in combat, Lauren is left devastated and alone.
Lauren is thrust into the public eye and escapes to her family's old beach house when she can hide and be on her own. However, this summer she's not alone—her domineering mother and contentious sister have also taken up residence at the house. To top it all off, Matt Brio, a documentarian has tracked her down and convinces her to meet with him. Lauren is not ready for all of this. Matt's hour meeting sets in motion a summer of surprises, revelations, and disruption. She is forced to deal with her grief head on, understand the past, and look toward her future.
This book was utterly captivating. And being a Canadian hockey mom, can I just say that Jamie Brenner did her homework.
Brenner pens characters that are rich and layered and certainly not without flaws. There is almost a naive quality to the three main female characters in that they don't realize their worth, strength and resilience. The supporting cast is just as integral to the story and propel the main characters to grow over the course of the narrative.
Whether it be through death, or mourning the loss of a relationship, the theme of grief is an essential part of the story. Brenner juxtaposes this grief against self-empowerment and this is particularly effective in the growth of her characters.
This is a story of relationships, love, loss, and self-discovery. It is beautifully written and paced—the story unfolds in stages much like grief and was a thoroughly satisfying read. This book would make an excellent book club choice.