Published by Amazon on June 21st, 2016
Genres: Women's Fiction
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
At thirty-six, Gwen Porter has always done the right thing. A selfless pillar of strength, devoted wife and mother of two, she thrives on caring for those she loves. When Gwen learns a shattering, life-changing truth, her deepest concern is telling her husband, John. She finds herself on a destructive path of deceit and when her strength is tested, she turns to the most unlikely person.
For Charley Brant, GwenÔÇÖs carefree, younger sister, life is about surviving another dead-end job or her next train-wreck relationship. She lives in the moment, denying herself any hope for a future. After years of relying on her sisterÔÇÖs handouts and support, Charley finds herself in unfamiliar territory as she struggles to be the vessel of strength that Gwen needs to navigate through the storm.
As Gwen faces her darkest fear and an uncertain future, Charley turns to the past, unraveling secrets that will change everything that has come to define her. And in the wake of a tragedy, each will come to recognize that sometimes the most important words are the hardest ones to say.
WOW! What an amazing story. I dove in late one night and let the first couple chapters sit. By 50% in I started to crack. My heart was tattered. While I own Gravity, this is the first by L.D. Cedergreen book that ┬áIÔÇÖve read. IÔÇÖm stunned at the depth of the story line and the emotional complexity of the writing. Centered around Gwen and Charley, sisters who share the heartbreak of having lost their father (he left) and growing up with a negligent mother, they form a solidarity in their pain. But they experience heartbreak for completely different reasons.
Gwen, the oldest of the two sisters, is in a loving and happy marriage while Charley canÔÇÖt commit to anyone. ┬áThe story advances from their unique perspectives.Their relationship has been strained over time, but ┬áthey begin to grow closer as they share Gwen’s secret. ┬áWhile the entire story is marred in heartbreak, the newfound solidarity is extremely good for the two of them. ItÔÇÖs an avenue to help them heal their breaches, with each other and themselves. ┬áGwen has been extremely protective of Charley while at the same time a bit critical, but her appraisal seems fair and understandable. Conversely, Charley deeply admires Gwen and the relationship she has with her husband and children, but the experience they share exposes Gwen’s uncertainty, which is again understandable. ┬áI do love each sister’s story line equally.
As the story unfolds I found myself really drawn into CharleyÔÇÖs life. ┬áSheÔÇÖs been sheltered a bit but her reluctance to commit to a romantic relationship, her unsteady work history, makes her out as flaky and we hear that clearly through Gwen’s voice. CharleyÔÇÖs self-sabotage is classic and Charley contemplates how she perceives both of her parents. ThereÔÇÖs internal conflict and Cedergreen shows the complexity of her emotions. I cringed as Charley fights her feelings for Grey and spent a good chunk of the book shaking my head (and fist) at her. She is a character that deserves happiness, so whatÔÇÖs holding her back? There’s a mystery to it.┬á
Gwen is facing one of life’s greatest challenges. Her fear is palpable and completely understandable. Her actions reflect this and while questionable, not sensible, they make sense. Gwen rationalizes this to the point that she is no longer simply avoiding the topic. Avoidance is easier but often leads to cover-up and simply dishonesty, changing Gwen ever so slightly.
ItÔÇÖs an emotional read the entire way through but itÔÇÖs a balanced and thoughtful. ItÔÇÖs not an easy subject to read about. At times itÔÇÖs ┬áheavy and sad but with L.D. Cedergreens writing, I found myself attached and very invested in these young women’s lives. The story concludes with an amazing set of epilogueÔÇÖs that in the end left my heart content. 5 Stars and my recommendation ~ and ┬áthank you Ena for this wonderful recommendation!
~Review by Cyndi
I was so hesitant to delve into this book because the subject matter touched on something which has greatly impacted my life. ┬áThankfully, I pushed on and found out that the premise of the story is much deeper than originally expected. ┬áI see the story being about all different types of love, miscommunications, misperceptions, and making a full circle back to love.
We delve into different relationships – Gwen and Charley, Gwen and John, Gwen and her kids, Charley and Grey, Charley and her past, and the sisters with their mother. ┬áLove is both simple and complicated at the same time. ┬áThese relationships all bear their unique complexities but are blanketed by the overarching simple purity of love. ┬áSometimes we need a reminder of its beauty and value. ┬áThese sisters, actually the entire family, had to remember how to surrender and be helped by love.
I think everyone can find a piece of themselves in each of the characters, thinking back to different travesties and heartaches you have surmounted. ┬áMaybe Gwen and Charley didn’t always handle each situation with grace or make the right decisions, but each twist in their personal journey led them to be a better version of themselves.
I was impressed by the rawness of the writing and the author’s ability to let the characters have the tough discussions. ┬áSometimes what happens is brutal, but the honesty is beautiful. ┬áEvery word is worth ingesting. ┬áI believe the author did an amazing job in handling the real issues at hand here: love, fear, ┬áand family. ┬áIt’s a 5-star read and you SHOULD add it to your TBR.
~ Review by Loredana