I am a bit mixed on this book. On the one hand, I loved it - it was an engaging story that kept me interested. On the other hand, I thought it was a bI am a bit mixed on this book. On the one hand, I loved it - it was an engaging story that kept me interested. On the other hand, I thought it was a bit strange. Mary Gooch is a 300+ lb woman living a sheltered life in Canada. One evening, after 25 years of marriage, Mary's husband doesn't come home. She keeps calling his office and cell phone, leaving messages, trying to figure out where he is. She doesn't seem overly worried and assumes that he's just left her. I don't know about this. My first concern would be that my husband was in an accident or something. I'd be calling the hospitals, the police stations, putting together search parties....you get the idea. It just did not feel REAL to me. Her reaction was a bit weird and didn't quite make sense.
As I said before, Mary lives a very sheltered life. Her husband bought her a cell phone that she doesn't use, she's rarely left her hometown in Canada, and she doesn't own a computer. Mary is obese. Morbidly obese. Or, as Mary refers to it - obeast. I really did feel for Mary and I wanted her to learn how to love herself and become the person she wants to be. I just didn't find the plot to be very plausible. Mary eats her way through problems, but when her husband leaves, she suddenly is no longer hungry and barely eats anything. It's not exactly the healthiest way to lose weight and didn't seem very realistic. Maybe I should have found deeper meaning in the story; that hunger is a metaphor for what's missing in her life, but I just couldn't get beyond these superficial plot points.
The ending left me a bit cold. Things were not completely cleared up and I was left with more questions than answers. I was really disappointed with the ending.
In case you couldn't tell, I am struggling with my thoughts on this book. I'm having a difficult time reviewing it, because I did like it, but some of the things in the plot just didn't make sense to me and it really detracted from my overall enjoyment of the story. Mary is a great character that you will root for and if you can get past some of these plot issues, I'm sure you'll enjoy her story.
This is a beautifully written love story that draws the reader in from page one. The characters felt so real that I was instantly drawn into their stoThis is a beautifully written love story that draws the reader in from page one. The characters felt so real that I was instantly drawn into their story, feeling their ups and downs, highs and lows. The author truly has a gift for words that kept me furiously turning the pages, eagerly anticipating what would happen next.
The story begins in 2006 where we meet Brian Weller, a bestselling author who recently lost his son in a terrible accident that left his wife in a coma. As he struggles to cope with the loss, an unexpected e-mail changes everything. It is from Joanna Richman, his first true love and, arguably, the love of his life. As e-mails are sent back or forth, Brian decides to head back to Boston for a book signing and to reconnect with Joanna.
The story then shifts to 1991 when Brian and Joanna met. It was love at first sight, but Joanna isn't available. She is engaged to another man, Erik Ruby. He is mean, manipulative, and egotistical, seeing Joanna as a possession that he must own, flashing his money and stature at every moment. Even though I knew the outcome, I was rooting for Brian and Joanna, hoping things would have worked out and they could have been together. I could feel the emotions between them and truly believed that they are soul mates. Erik, learning of Joanna's affair, manages to force Brian out of her life. Although I did not agree with how Erik handled things, I can understand where he was coming from. I think he did love Joanna, but was more concerned with having a "trophy wife" than actually loving her for who she is.
The story then shifts back to 2006 and Brian and Joanna's reunion. It is heartfelt and full of emotion. But, will anything change? Will Joanna learn the truth about her husband? Will Brian and Joanna get another chance?
I was impressed with how well this story was written and how much I cared about the characters. This is truly a remarkable love story that I would very highly recommend. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.