Barbara Claypole White
Published: Harlequin Mira
Date: December 2013
Format: eARC for Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Bestselling author Will Shepard is caught in the twilight of grief, after his young son dies in a car accident. But when his father's aging mind erases the memory, Will rewrites the truth. The story he spins brings unexpected relief…until he's forced to return to rural North Carolina, trapping himself in a lie.My thoughts:
Holistic veterinarian Hannah Linden is a healer who opens her heart to strays but can only watch, powerless, as her grown son struggles with inner demons. When she rents her guest cottage to Will and his dad, she finds solace in trying to mend their broken world, even while her own shatters.
As their lives connect and collide, Will and Hannah become each other's only hope—if they can find their way into a new story, one that begins with love.
All in all I really liked this book. It does explore complex but very real issues that families might face. I liked all the characters, and appreciated that from time to time point of view changed and the reader was given a look-see into the world of some of the minor characters. This is a novel where the setting is important, setting has an impact on lives and that is definitely the case in this novel. Whether the setting is being used as a cocoon from real life, or seen as something to fear because of childhood, or something about it that is really and truly home.
Will is an author who is facing writer block, life in the last few months has been tough and he is coping or not coping with the grief of losing a child. He is also dealing with a parent - Jacob, who is one minute fully aware and the next his memory has gone and he is living in the past. Jacob is in a 'home' that he hates, it definitely is the wrong setting for him. I liked Jacob and there were three times in the book when I had laugh out loud moments from what he said or did. Not that this is a comedy, it emotionally left me drained at times, but always touched my heart. Will's Mom is dead, however her life has had a huge impact on Will.
Hannah is a mom who has two boys and an ex husband. She cares for everyone and always puts other's needs first. Poppy her friend plays a minor but important role in her life. Hannah's son Galen has some serious mental health issues that lead to much of the drama in the book. I love the way Galen looks down his nose at Will - who writes mere genre literature! Galen himself writes poetry. However the two strike up an important friendship.
While all the characters - human and animal, carry some deep flaw, sometimes covered up, sometimes not, the overall impression I am left with as I finish the book is one of beautiful, unconditional love. Love and heartbreak.