I have been interested in reading this novel for some time now, so I was very excited to get an ARC. I picked it up last night to read the first chapter, thinking I would get started and finish it up over the course of the next week, but at 5:00 AM, I was still wide awake. I couldn’t put down this gorgeous story about family relationships, mistakes, hopes, guilt, forgiveness, and looking back in order to move forward. Even after I was finished reading, I couldn’t stop thinking about what the story means to me and what it tells me about myself and about my relationships with some of the people in my life.
This novel is well-written. The characters are well-developed with plenty of interesting flaws and more than enough redeemable qualities to make me love them. I enjoyed the shifts in POV and how the perspectives spanned three generations. This story was emotionally hard to swallow at times, which I think is about the best compliment I could give a book. I like to feel something, and it is impossible to read this story and not feel a wide range of emotions.
Often we are told to look forward and not live in the past, so I really appreciated how this novel explored the fact that the past can have a huge impact on a person’s present. It’s haunting how many years people can live inside delusions, misunderstandings, guilt, and grief. This novel reminds us that sometimes it’s important to look back and try to understand, if you want to ever find your way forward again.
The cover may be adorable, but the story itself digs into the deepest, darkest parts of human (and animal) nature in the most truthful and straightforward kind of way. There are no pretty lies, easy fixes, or fluffy resolutions, because Yoerg clearly understands what it is that make people tick and how unwilling and/or unable some people are to change, to forgive, to move forward, to grow.
This debut novel was beautifully woven together, and I can’t wait to read whatever Sonja Yoerg writes next.