First of all, it took me entirely too long to read this book. I have Rascal (my pup) to thank for that… He decided to try and die on my birthday (because turning 30 isn’t traumatizing enough in itself, right?). I spent all of my free time and most of my waking and “sleeping” hours watching him for signs of life (or death). I even got a late fee on my library card 😱 The point of this story is that I really REALLY wanted to read and I couldn’t and it made me sad. I guess that’s a good sign for this book. (Side note: my sweet furbaby is doing much better!)
So to start, I’m giving Ashley Spivey (shout-out: Bachelor 15!) credit for this one (PS: she gives great recs, so you should follow her on insta). This novel has 4.01 stars on Goodreads. For anyone that isn’t fluent in Goodreads, anything over 4 stars is usually a must-read so you should
walk run to get your copy. You won’t want to put it down! Also, I’m trying something different this time (and I’d love your feedback!!) and NOT GIVING SPOILERS.
The story begins on September 11th, 2001 in NYC as Gabe and Lucy watching the World Trade Center towers crumble from a nearby rooftop. This traumatic and life altering event kick-starts a complicated (but passionate) relationship that we watch for years from Lucy’s POV.
Deep down, I think most women (and probably men too, but good luck getting them to admit it) love a good love story. I’m not talking the mushy Nicky Sparks stuff, though I’ve had my fair share of obsessions with him too…I’m talking about the more realistic stuff. You know, that overwhelming love and need you feel for your person. That euphoric feeling when they return your love. The feeling of home and knowing you’re supported and appreciated. Being understood and listened to… protected. After a fight, coming back together to see their side of things figure out where you both can compromise. The difficulties and rough times you go through strengthen your bond.
“I hope you find a love like that–one that is all-consuming and powerful that makes you feel like you’re going slightly mad. And if you do find that love, embrace it. Hold onto it. When you give yourself over to love like that, your heart will get bruised. It will get battered. But you will also feel invincible and infinite.”
If you’ve had a first love, it means you’ve probably also had a second love (if not yet, it will come and it will be so much better! Just my opinion here. Don’t get out the torches just yet). For me, I think the second love is stronger, more mature…you know yourself better, so you appreciate the qualities needed in a lifelong partner. I saw Lucy go through a similar transformation. Her overwhelming passion with Gabe almost broke her spirit, but from this devastation grew her character and a more mature outlook on relationships. When Lucy met Darren, she could appreciate his stable mind and his desire to settle down. Although theirs wasn’t a perfect relationship (Lucy felt that Gabe saw her in a way that Darren could not), I still believe that Darren was a genuinely good man who loved Lucy and wanted to provide her a happy and comfortable life. At times, I felt Lucy was actually looking for problems with him. Had she not had her prior experiences with Gabe, I think she would have been perfectly happy with Darren.
“Sometimes we make decisions that seem right at the time, but later, looking back, were clearly a mistake. Some decisions are right even in hindsight.”
Many times, I questioned Lucy’s decisions but then realized, who am I to judge? I couldn’t imagine being in her situation. She had her heart shattered and then finally recovered stronger, moved on and started a happy family. Then her ex pops back in, makes it clear that he isn’t over her, and does crazy things that I know my husband would kill another man for. She had moved on with her life and had a family, for goodness sakes! It wasn’t fair that Gabe kept “coming back” for her when he chose his career over their relationship years ago. All the way to the end, he continues to make her life more difficult (and mine too, because I don’t always enjoy crying in an airport).
Overall, I’d give this book 4.5 stars. Though it begins on September 11, 2001, the book doesn’t revolve around these events, just how it kick-started a relationship and the difference they wanted to make in the world. It’s a powerful story that will probably leave you heartbroken (in a weird, good way?) with real issues thrown in about how we live our lives and where our decisions take us. I think you’ll be just as hooked as I was.