I received this book from Pan Macmillan Publishing in exchange for an honest review. It is an adult fiction, so I didn't have extremely high hopes for it, but I decided to pick it up and give it a try.
"Emily Morris got her happily-ever-after earlier than most. Married at a young age to a man she loved passionately, she was building the life she always wanted. But when enormous stress threatened her marriage, Emily made some rash decisions. That’s when she fell in love with someone else. That’s when she got pregnant.
Resolved to tell her husband of the affair and to leave him for the father of her child, Emily’s plans are thwarted when the world is suddenly split open on 9/11. It’s amid terrible tragedy that she finds her freedom, as she leaves New York City to start a new life. It’s not easy, but Emily---now Connie Prynne—forges a new happily-ever-after in California. But when a life-threatening diagnosis upends her life, she is forced to rethink her life for the good of her thirteen-year-old daughter." -Goodreads
I really enjoyed reading about the life of Emily(or Connie - I'll just refer to her as Emily throughout this review). She had a tough child hood growing up with her single and poor mother. But when she met Drew in college, everything seemed to fall into place. She is naive in college and marries Drew young, despite both of them having hardly any money, no job, and still studying. But I really loved reading about her character. Even though she did some things that are quite idiotic, and things that I don't agree with, I still loved her and how Hooper portrayed her. She develops quite a lot throughout the book; she goes through highs and so many lows. But in the end I had high hopes for her, despite what she is going through. Emily definitely draws a lot of sympathy from the readers (I know I found myself feeling sorry for her quite a lot) and this is another great technique in making me as the reader continue reading the book. There were times where I was worried for Emily and wondering what she was going to do (she stressed me out a LOT!) but she always managed to find her away around any problems.
Other minor characters such as Drew, Gabe, Claire, Paul, Marni, and Drew's mother also added to the story line. They all had different impacts on Emily and made her act differently depending on who she is with. I loved Drew and personally felt sorry for him for having to deal with his sick mother and the falling out of his wife. I didn't have a lot of love for Gabe but he definitely did add to the story line and had a good impact on Emily. Claire, Emily's daughter is full of life, optimistic, and smart, and I loved reading about her and the hard times that she was going through throughout the book. Paul and Marni, Emily's friends from 'different lives', were also interesting to read about and had great connections with Emily.
STORY LINE / PLOT:
I absolutely loved the story concept and how the plot went into place. I have never read anything like this before; I mean I've read stories about people starting a new life and re-inventing themselves, but this was new all together. From Emily's childhood, to college life, being with Drew, dealing with her mother-in-law, her affair with Gabe, and moving to California - I loved all of it and I was constantly intrigued with what was happening. There was that constant suspense throughout which made the book almost like a mystery. This made me turn each page so fast and I never wanted to put the book down - which is how I finished it in two days! The story line and concept would have to be my favourite part of the whole book.
I'm going to keep this part quite short, but I just wanted to mention a few things. The story was told through alternating times in Emily's life. She was telling the story of her past in New York pretty much in sequence; from before college until 9/11. But in between these stories she was talking about her current life in California. At first I found this a bit confusing, but once I got used to it I loved the idea. It made sense and Hooper allowed the story to flow really well. This also added suspense as at times I just wanted to her more about her past, but it was an amazing technique that I really enjoyed.
To be honest, I was kind of disappointed with the ending. I would have loved for it to conclude everything that happened; it could have been really emotional or really happy. I did like what happened with the end, I just wish that that wasn't the end. There was a lot more that Hooper could have done with it. I understand however that it is leaving it to the readers interpretation, but I hate doing that. Most of the time, I just want the author to tell me what happens to all the characters. I have so many questions!!!
I decided to give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. I was close to giving it a 5 (I did on Goodreads) but I was just slightly disappointed with the ending. But overall I loved this book and highly recommend not only to readers of adult fiction, but anyone really. I'm mainly a YA reader, but I don't mind venturing out of my comfort zone every now and then. And I'm so glad that I did this time - thanks Pan Macmillan for sending me this amazing book!
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