I am literally trying so hard right now to put my emotions into words for you guys. But before I do that, I think I need to break this book up into 3 parts. For arguments sake, we’ll just call it the ‘before’, ‘middle’ and ‘end’.
As the synopsis says, Emma marries her sweetheart and on their first wedding anniversary, Jesse goes missing and is presumed gone forever. Three years later she meets Sam, another man she went to school with and he almost heals her heart. They get engaged and are planning a life together. Until Jesse is found alive and returns to Emma hoping to put their lives back together.
“Do you ever get over loss? Or do you find a box within yourself, big enough to hold it? Do you just stuff it in there, push it down, and snap the lid on it? Do you just work, every day, to keep the box shut?
The ‘before’ part of this book is setting the scene. You know from the first line that Jesse is alive so you are well prepared for what is coming. You get to know how Emma met Jesse and their life together. And then he goes missing. Insert the ‘middle’ part of the book. Where you fall in love with Sam. And then you live through Emma’s emotions of coming to terms with having a fiancé and having her husband back after thinking for three years that he has been dead.
Now, those of you who are worried about a love triangle. I just wanted to clear up that it’s not your usual triangle. Yes, she loves them both, but when Emma is with Sam, she thinks Jesse is dead. And she never cheats on Sam. So it’s definitely safe for you to read if cheating is something you don’t like!
The ‘before’ and ‘middle’ parts of the book are so great. I would give the first 2/3s of the book a 4.5. Even up until the end. I was really loving the book and a 4.5 it was. That is until the epilogue.
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you the most romantic part of love is the beginning. The most romantic part is when you know it has to end.”
Okay, so that quote isn’t from the epilogue but I wanted to add it there because it so fits this story. I love it!
But the epilogue. Omg. I was completely satisfied with how the book ended. But that epilogue was just absolutely perfect. I cried. I cried happy tears, sad tears, beautiful tears. I cried all the tears. I cried for Emma, I cried for Jesse and I cried for Sam. It was probably the most perfect epilogue I’ve read in a long time and I’m so glad it ended that way. And because of that, it pushed this book right up to a 5 star and straight into my best reads of 2016 list.
What a stunning story of self discovery. Of who you are and who you want to be. It’s beautiful, it’s powerful and it’s heartbreaking all at the same time. But I cannot recommend it enough. What an absolute pleasure it was so be able to experience this book. I’ll definitely be holding it close to my heart <3