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307 pages, Kindle Edition
First published May 15, 2019
Oh boy, I've never once had such a visceral reaction to book characters as I did Billie, Woods, and Satcher.
I'm torn. On the one hand, the first half was perfect, with each character owning their space, establishing intents and motivations. Billie, the scorned wife, awakening from a 2-yr hibernation, intent on reclaiming all that was lost and stolen; Woods, the ex; Satcher, Wood's best friend (also, the most stereotypical character). Alongside minor but important characters: Jules, Billie's friend; Pearl, the mistress.
On the other hand, the pacing was off, the timelines confusing; more than that, there were too many loose threads. Random characters or events that were utilized strictly to drive the characters into a particular situation that was completely unnecessary or never revisited (the accident, for example). It became messy, too messy.
So instead of the messy half, I'll concentrate on the parts that spoke to my soul. Boy, that Tarryn sure can evoke all sorts of emotions and even though I've never been divorced, I felt THE PAIN. It permeated the atmosphere and the prose; similarly, the characters were authentic... flawed, sometimes stupid, but ultimately real.
I felt THE PAIN.
FYI: if you're looking for a coherent and topical review, this isn't it.
On a very personal note (and I have to be discreet cos my kids sometimes stalk my reviews), I got married at 23yo and have been married for the same length of time and on each anniversary I ask (it's a cultural thing) my hubby for a divorce. He thinks I'm either joking or nuts, but I'm quite sane and deadly serious. Of course, he says no.
For context, I was late for my wedding, hadn't booked hair or makeup and basically would have been a runaway bride had my parents not hidden my passport. TRUE STORY. Which is understandable considering I'd already broken 2 engagements and declined a third proposal.
I saw my mum love my father with all her being while he (handsome and oh so charming) had a bit of a roaming eye. I vowed never to marry.
But I wanted kids.
You're probably wondering why you need to know this and how it's relevant to this book. Well, there's no correlation, except this book took me back and wrung out my heart. Billie was chasing the very thing I wanted no part of and that symbolism was emotionally moving to the point that I literally would put my reader aside simply to contemplate and yes, shed a tear or two.
I know most readers will find parts of the story unpleasant particularly the aforementioned second half, but for those who want authentic (or as close to real-life) situations where things don't always align or progress as planned, where life sometimes throws curve-balls, where lost dreams clash with lost loves, and new relationships stumble on the tails of old ones, then you must read this book.
“If you don’t want your dirty laundry aired, live a life you’re not embarrassed of.”