I decided to review this after reading Laura’s interesting review of it, and I am really happy that I did. You can pop over to her review for a summary, because I’m going to ignore that part and focus on the emotions and what the novel said to me.
This was a compelling story about what it takes to both make and break a relationship and how understanding yourself and knowing how to communicate can often be more important than loving your partner. It also addresses how hate and frustration, while often attributed to the actions and behaviors of others, frequently stems from a place within, a place of selfishness and/or disappointments and hurts that are never communicated.
This book reminds people that it’s impossible for someone else to fix whatever is upsetting you, if you have the truth of the matter buried deep inside. It’s like putting sunscreen on after a burn: too little too late. It’s also unfair to expect others to magically know and fix what is upsetting you, even the people you love. The story is subtly layered with these gentle reminders that sometimes we expect too much from the people we love the most. We want something impossible from them, and in doing so, we set both them and ourselves up to fail.
This book also explores how even those you know the best, like the ones you choose for family, often have their own complex issues and concerns that you might not ever see if you don’t take the time to get real and be honest with them. There’s a surface level people share of themselves, a second level they seem to save for loved ones, and a third, deeper level that sometimes people keep from everyone, even themselves. When they stop, that seems to be the moment when life becomes most interesting, despite the challenges. This story will take you to that level, and afterwards, you won’t ever want to return to the surface again.