The book starts with these beautiful soul-touching lines :
What we have once loved deeply, we can never lose. For all that we love deeply becomes a part of us – Helen Keller
A book of healing and second chances, of tragedy and strength, of hope and love between three generations of women; grandmother Ruby, mother Frieda, and granddaughter Bella.
An auto accident during a vacation takes the life of husband Aaron and younger daughter Ariel, a happy and loving family gets destroyed by one tragedy. In the days following that, Frieda is distraught and heartbroken but her resilience bounces back till Bella starts withdrawing from life, on the eve of the first anniversary. Frieda is at her wit’s end, nothing seems to work for her daughter. Fearing for Bella’s life, she decides to return home to her mother, Ruby, for the summer. The story thus moves forward, dealing with all stages of grief; the silence, the disbelief, the anger, the tears, the acceptance and finally the healing and moving towards life.
This book shows how fragile life is and each moment has to be lived fully; a moment once gone is always gone. Focus on the present, forget the past and the future and remain confident in the knowledge that nothing stays the same forever. Nothing stops with death but nothing ends with death too. Love is fleeting and momentary sometimes, so, hold your love close, caress it, bathe in its warmth and thank the powers to be for these precious moments.
Holly Chamberlin has written well, full of emotions, especially the pain of losing a sister wrenched my heart and filled my eyes with tears. Holly has brought home a lot of topics people face in today’s life addiction to prescription drugs and more, loss of close family members, homosexuality and losing a partner to AIDS, opening the heart again to love and being vulnerable. There is a supernatural aspect too which would provide solace to all of us who have lost someone special. The only teeny tiny gripe I had was, there were 90 chapters for 90 days of summer, a little editing would have helped the book to go faster and emotions to be close knit.
But all in all a very good, enlightening book of second chances and living life to the maximum. Respect life with a capital letter by respecting oneself. Few lines from the book I quote:
Forgiveness means letting go of all hope of a better PAST
We take such a risk when we choose to love, but it’s all worth it and we wind up with a family we never thought we would have
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee… Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so…. Death, thou shalt die.
For life wins always….
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and publisher and this is my honest and unbiased opinion
My rating : 4 stars
About the Author
Holly Chamberlin was born and raised in New York City. After earning a Master’s degree in English Literature from New York University and working as an editor in the publishing industry for ten years, she moved to Boston, married and became a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband now live in downtown Portland, Maine, in a restored mid-nineteenth-century brick townhouse with Betty, the most athletic, beautiful and intelligent cat in the world.
A mother and daughter escape to a beautiful coastal town in Maine to find healing in the wake of heartbreaking loss.
The journey to Yorktide, Maine, was always a happy one for Frieda and Aaron Braithwaite and their two daughters. Frieda loves her mother’s old farmhouse. But that was before.
Since the car crash that claimed the lives of her husband, and their younger daughter, Frieda has struggled emotionally and financially. Bella, now seventeen, is withdrawn and wary, and Frieda fears losing her too.At her mother’s urging, Frieda decides to return to Yorktide with Bella for the summer. Bella gets a job in a local shop, and little by little edges her way back into the world. But it’s the unexpected connections they make—with a former schoolmate, a troubled teenage girl, and Frieda’s estranged father—that will spur them to find healing amid bittersweet memories, and discover if their bond is strong enough to guide them back to hope once more.
Publication date : 27th June 2017
Publisher : Kensington
Language : English
Available on Amazon
A book of life and living