Originally posted on my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
I absolutely adore the cover of this book. It's so simplistic yet ominous. It's the perfect cover to signal that something not quite right is going to happen in the novel. The storm clouds are gorgeous. Gah, I just love the cover. Kudos to the designer. So I remember reading the synopsis when I requested this novel but until I started reading it, I completely forgot what it was about.
What I really liked about this novel was the characterization. I especially loved the characterization of Liesel. I loved that Hart didn't shy away from the way many women would feel after marrying someone whose been divorced... the "other" woman never truly goes away and I think sometimes writers don't show that side of the relationship. Hart dared to go there and explore those feelings and it turned out so well for Liesel's characterization. I also thought she handled Liesel's desire to have children against Sunny and her children showing up and the subsequent challenges of motherhood or maybe in this case, grandmother-hood.
Sunny was another character that I really liked. Hart did a great job showing us how Sunny grapples with this entire lifestyle she grew up in versus the "real world." I imagine it would be as difficult in real life as it is for her in the novel. I like that she recognizes that some of the things she was taught was wrong but that some of the things she was taught could also still be considered right. This novel is an interesting look at religion/cults/organized groups but it doesn't go into a whole lot of detail.
I thought the most obvious tension of Sunny showing up on her father's doorstep when he didn't even know she existed was done fairly well. Christopher reacted much how I think most men would have reacted.
The writing was also very well done and it was a fairly quick read. I'm a huge fan of ambiguous endings and this one aligned right in my fav type of endings.
Liesel and Christopher kind of annoyed me with their shifting personalities. I didn't even feel like they really loved each other. One minute they were fine and the next they were not. It just felt like they'd change moods but there wouldn't exactly be good textual evidence as to why they should have changed or acted like that. Just made for a few confusing spots.
In my opinion, things started to kind of fall apart toward the last part of the book. It's like Sunny's relationships that were going so well seemed to just stop. There was a reintroduction of a character from her past and I know that had something to do with it, but to me, it didn't seem like enough to make up for how everything seemed to just stop. This made for the last couple chapters to seem rushed/abrupt and not quite the best they could have been.
Overall, I thought this was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. I liked Hart's writing style and the ease with which the book flowed. I recommend this book for Contemporary Adult lovers or anyone looking for a different kind of read. I'd say Megan Hart is a mixture of Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah.
**I received this book free from the publisher through www.netgalley.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.