Do you know the feeling when your world goes off of its axis? Things don’t feel right. The sky doesn’t look as blue. People talking sounds like it’s muffled underwater. The wind is all wrong. That is how I felt after reading this book. I felt destroyed.
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the chance to review this title ahead of its release date.
This book seeps in grief. It follows Olivia and her parents three years after the accidental drowning of her three-year-old brother. We see them coping in their ways, her mother keeps herself drugged enough to numb the pain, and her father is just…absent. When a new neighbor moves in across the street, Olivia begins to come out of the cave she’s banished herself to. The new neighbors consist of only women, a daughter her age, a mother, and an elderly blind grandmother. Olivia is drawn to Kara and her outgoing ways that ultimately reunite Olivia with her former best friend, whom she distanced herself form after Robby’s death.
Slowly, Olivia begins to feel alive, more than she has in years. In this journey, we find out what happened to Robby and the part that Olivia played in it. This is where the book goes from heart-breaking to completely obliterating. Olivia blames herself. Her mother once blamed her. In Kara, she sees the Olivia she used to be. Even when Kara reveals her unusual hobby of writing death row inmates. Eventually, things come to a crescendo and everyone begins to realize to take a step back and care for the living, and not dwelling on those who were gone.
This book hit me particularly hard because I have lost not one, not two, but three pregnancies. I could feel the grief in Ava’s words, and as I read, my mind kept going to my now four-year-old miracle child and how…oh I don’t even want to think about it anymore. I will die.
Anyhow, this book navigates the stages of grief and how Olivia and her family needed each other to get through it. The supernatural aspect of Kara and her family drew me in. Honestly, I thought it was strange at first,but quickly realized how well it fit into the topic of death and new life.
This book is unlike anything I have ever read. And it breaks me to know the author has also dealt with child loss. I hope she finds sunshine in the darkness. It’s there, and sometimes it takes longer to see it. But it’s there.