I received a review copy
Emma and Jesse fell in love in high school. He was captain of the swim team and an Olympic hopeful. Emma was the quiet type who worked at her family’s bookstore. They both had dreams of breaking free. They left their hometown (Acton, MA) after graduation for Los Angeles, where they attended college and began a life together. Jesse and Emma loved adventure and traveled the world, she as a travel writer and he as a production assistant for nature documentaries. Even after they were married, they continued to live their carefree nomadic lives. Their happiness was cut short one year after their wedding, when the helicopter that Jesse was on crashed in the North Pacific. His body was never found and he was declared dead.
The death of Emma’s one true love crippled her with grief. She moved home with her parents and eventually ended up working at her family’s store, Blair Books – something she swore she’d never do. Slowly, Emma begins to accept and love her new life and is able to move on. She falls in love with an old friend, Sam, who asks her to marry him. Then on day Emma’s phone rings. It’s Jesse. After almost four years, he’s been rescued at sea. He’s coming home.
This is the second book written by this author that I devoured in one day. The book is riveting. Yes, coming back from the dead is usually the stuff of daytime drama, but it was a genius plot point in this story. It sets up a love triangle in which there were no bad guys. I couldn’t chose who I wanted Emma to end up with – Jesse or Sam. They’re both good men, both in-love with a good woman who loves them back. They’re all victims of a cruel, yet fantastic, twist of fate. Reid’s style of writing flows so easily that you don’t feel like you’re reading a book – you feel like you’re having a conversation. Her voice is authentic in a way that you feel as though she’s personally telling you her intimate story. Her descriptions of emotion are so visceral that I just wanted to take poor Emma in my arms and hold her. I highlighted the heck out of this book. There are many wise passages about grief and love and loss and growing-up. I got shivers reading the words. For instance, “You know that you will never truly be free of grief. You know that it is something you must learn to live with, something you manage. You start to understand that grief is chronic. It’s more about remission and relapse than it is about cure. What that means to you is that you can’t simply wait for it to be over. You have to have to move through it. Like swimming in an undertow.”
I cannot write anymore, because I don’t want to give anything away. But trust me, you will LOVE this book! I highly recommend it.