A GiveAway! And a Couple Odds and Ends
The last Friday of 2016. Wow!
To celebrate, I have a giveaway for one eBook version of my book, Finally You, from the Amazon Kindle Store. The giveaway is open until midnight tonight and I'll announce one winner tomorrow. This is my first time setting up Rafflecopter, but I think that I've arranged it so that if you answer the question, you get an extra entry. If you have already bought the book, or you are romance novel-averse, you can still enter and if you win give your copy to a friend or other loved one! Enter below.
And a couple odds and ends:
Now, I'm off to finish most likely my last book of the year--woohoo!--and write some of my second book. I hope that you have a fabulous New Years!
Wow. I just completed Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, and I am completely undone. Blown away. My heart feels wrung and exposed, full of sadness and grief and also hope.
Let me start at the beginning.
If you follow me on Facebook, you might know that I was only two books away from meeting my Goodreads goal of reading 100 books in 2016. The Underground Railroad was #99, and it was magnificent. My best read of 2016. I say this with complete confidence, even knowing that I will read at least one more book before the year closes.
The Underground Railroad was the recipient of the National Book Award, so I was expecting greatness. But I wasn’t expecting to experience nearly a full range of the sadder, weightier human emotions: devastation, horror, heartsickness, anger, and disgust, among others.
Cora, the protagonist, is a slave on the Randall plantation in Georgia. Caesar, a fellow slave, approaches her about escaping the plantation, and after an altercation with her new “owner,” Cora agrees to the plan. What follows is Cora’s travels through the Underground Railroad, a literal railroad running underneath southern states. For Cora, and many of the other former slaves in the book, escaping the plantations where they were imprisoned does not equal freedom. Yes, Cora is free of the immediate threat that her former “owner,” Terrance Randall, presents, but she learns that other people, white and black, want to have control over her body.
But Cora is strong and resilient, and she has agency. She is relentless and she is powerful. And the people who help Cora along the way, black and white, show goodness, beauty, and agency of their own.
I read this book feverishly, racing through the pages because even though it’s a gorgeous read (in the sense that Whitehead has a gorgeous mastery of language), it’s also a page-turner. I was nervous about the ending, but I did not have to be. It was perfect.
We need books like this to remind us, to make us see.
Books like The Underground Railroad rip open those cushy narratives some people like to tell themselves at various times, about how slavery could not have been as bad as some people said because x slave was devoted to x master, even after the Emancipation Proclamation. Or the narratives that Gone with the Wind and Robert E. Lee are authentic representatives of a genteel south that was different from the south where African-Americans were forcibly subjugated, oppressed, mutilated, raped, and/or murdered and their families were torn apart. [In the interest of honesty, I should say that in my adolescence and perhaps going into early adulthood, I, too, romanticized Gone with the Wind and Lee and enjoyed them without critically confronting the legal, social, political, and economic oppressive systems that the characters/figures were part of.]
Or the cushy narrative that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights, not slavery (which is sometimes propagated even in our textbooks). Or the narrative that racism ended with the Emancipation Proclamation or the 13th Amendment or the Civil Rights Act or Obama’s presidential terms.
This is the time to re-visit what we’re contributing to the world and to interrogate what our values are. I’ve thought about this before reading Whitehead’s book (chiefly thanks to the year 2016, a painful, but hopefully revelatory year), but this book made me confront my own thoughts and actions anew. In the interest of honesty again, I’m deeply, truly sorry for the times in which I thought to myself or even said aloud that I didn’t think that x event or action was racist or doubted racism’s hold in the place that I lived. I don’t get to decide that.
I’m sorry for those times when I spoke out of white privilege. I’ve been trying to be better for a while now, and I’ll keep trying.
I am grateful to Colson Whitehead for this book. Please read it.
In the period of time between graduating college and before leaving for graduate school—a period of roughly four years—I played a lot of games of the board and card variety. I’m not a super competitive person—unless we’re playing Rook, my favorite game of all time—but I love how quickly fortunes can change during a really good game. Sometimes you’re losing and then you’re winning, or vice versa, and this vicissitude of the game is thrilling. There are still some magical times when the stars align (otherwise known as when parents have put their kids to sleep around the same time) and we can play a quick game or two. Here are some of my faves.*
*Note: I’m not explaining the rules to each one. You’ll have to Google, Bing, etc. it when you’ve got a spare moment or two.
Rook: This is my absolute favorite game of all time (it's so true that I had to say it twice in this post). It’s a four-person card game, so you can’t play with just anyone. I’m usually paired with my husband Daniel, a very strong player who only occasionally angers me with his Rook-play. When I lived with my fabulous roommate, Hannah, we used to play on the weekends until the early hours of the morning. (There were a couple of crazy nights until we played until 5 am. Crazy kids.) I think that you can play with regular cards, but I love the Rook deck that you can buy from almost any grocery store, some gas stations, and of course, Amazon. I’ve heard that Rook is similar to Hearts, if that gives you some idea of the kind of game I’m talking about.
Speed: This is a two-person racing card game in which each player tries to play all of the cards in their hand before the other player can. It’s a frantic, hand-shaking, mind-stuttering game where the tides change quickly and the victor is often decided in the very last second of play. These games are fast so they’re perfect when you have five minutes or so between responsibilities or other fun.
Shanghai Rummy: A family favorite. Each competition consists of ten different rummy matches, each with different objectives (i.e. two runs of three in one hand; a run of seven and a set of three in another). I love this game because I might bomb one match but I might come out on top on the next. Or I might bomb each of the ten matches and have to swallow my pride and remind myself that I’m not a competitive person so I shouldn’t care that my step-mom is trash-talking and humble-facing.
Spoons: A perfect card game to play with adults or with the older kids in your life (probably 6 and older). The objective is to get four of a kind in your hand at once and/or to grab a spoon before all of the spoons in the center of the table are gone. This game gets kind of raucous—there’s usually a lot of table-smacking and thumping and occasionally arm-wrestling—and everyone loves it.
Dominion: A medieval-themed strategy game in which you try to acquire the most property. It’s really fun, challenging, and hip amongst board-game-people-in-the-know (like my brother and sister-in-law).
Ticket to Ride: Each player tries to extend their railroad the farthest distance across the United States. I’m going to repeat what I said for Dominion: It’s really fun, challenging, and hip amongst board-game-people-in-the-know (like my brother and sister-in-law). If you have kiddos in your life, try the kids’ version. I haven’t played that version but I bought one for my nephew and it seemed to be popular.
Yahtzee: I would guess that most of you have played Yahtzee. I usually lose this game, badly, but I still like playing. This is another game that I think can be a fun adult and older kid game, or fun for just adults. If you’ve played, you probably know how amazing it is to get Yahtzee and also how upsetting it can be to have to put a very low score in your four, five, or six rows. Thank God for Chance.
Monopoly: The trouble with Monopoly is that if you are a poor graduate student or just stressed about money in general, it’s not fun to stress about money in a board game, too. But I still love this game and the mad dash to scoop up properties. The yellow and green ones were always my favorite (amen?). When my siblings and I played we got $500 every time we passed Go and we only paid reduced rates for the tax squares, and yet, somehow I almost always ended up bankrupt. [Now that I'm re-reading this last sentence, it's sounding more and more like a certain president-elect who also took more money from the "game" than he should have, paid reduced taxes aka no taxes for many years, and has also been bankrupt. Yuck, yuck, yuck.]
Bananagrams: A super fun word game that can also be stressful if you have a reputation as a wordsmith to maintain.
What are your favorite games? Send them my way!
Chase Something that Makes You Happy
I’m assessing 2016: the good, the bad, and the apocalyptic (you know. When He-Who-Tweets-Recklessly was elected).
Probably the biggest thing of my year—besides loving my husband and son more every day and treating every new thing my son does as the most amazing thing that anyone in the world has ever done, ever—was writing my book. If I think about how this happened from a practical perspective, this is what I come up with: I dropped out of my English PhD program-->failed to land a job outside of the home in the few months that I looked-->decided that I might as well see if I could write a book since I had the time, interest, and motivation-->wrote and self-published a book.
Your path to creative and/or professional fulfillment may not look like mine. (And you might think that my path looks relatively privileged and/or easy. More on that topic below).
I’m not advising that everyone reading this post immediately quit whatever it is that’s sucking up so much of your time, but I am asking you to think about chasing something that makes you happy, even if you only chase it for an hour or less a day.
I’ve been lucky enough to know women and men who have re-invented themselves professionally and found great happiness and satisfaction as a result. One of my best friends, Mary Catherine Starr, quit her 9-5 job in order to professionally embrace her yoga and artistic pursuits. Perhaps my biggest example is my mom, Jane, who tried on various jobs for size throughout my adolescence and adulthood. She never did this frivolously; she was slowly making her way to her true calling: nursing.
For a long time I was quietly envious of these two and others like them, but I thought that they could not be me. I would eventually figure out what made me happiest, I thought. I would stumble upon my ideal career. I would decide one day what I should be doing, and in the meantime, I would keep plodding along.
That’s exactly what I was doing in my English Literature PhD program, and before that, in my English Literature Master’s program. I was a good student. I made As in my classes and I got mostly positive feedback on my papers and presentations. I got mostly positive feedback on my student evaluations, too, except for the occasional “she was the worst teacher who has ever existed” and “her class was boring and I learned nothing in it” responses.
I got an article published and I did a couple of conference presentations.
In other words, I don’t think that I was a failure in the world of academia. But my heart wasn’t in it.
After all, it’s one thing to love reading books, talking about books, and performing historical and cultural research. It’s quite another to love writing conference papers and journal articles. By the same token, it’s one thing to enjoy teaching students at various moments and another to feel the bone-deep certainty that you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing.
It’s hard to explain to others how bad it can feel when you’re doing something that you’re not failing at, but that does not make you happy. It was particularly difficult to explain this to my husband, who is my biggest supporter and who worried, not unreasonably, that I would regret dropping out of my program and not completing my PhD.
But this is what I knew:
I don’t mind stress or responsibility. In fact, I’m probably busier (or just as busy) now as a work-from-home mom reading, blogging, and writing than I was before. But I minded the specific stresses and responsibilities associated with the world of academia. It was like trying to force my foot into the wrong-size shoe.
So this spring I made the huge decision to drop out of the English PhD program that I was part of and look for other employment. While I’m sorry that I essentially took another person’s spot in the program and perhaps wasted someone’s time, this was the best professional decision that I’ve ever made.
I recognize that I’m not the best writer (of romance, or anything) who has ever lived. But the thing is, that matters less to me now than the fact that this feels like me. I feel creatively and professionally fulfilled in ways that I did not expect. I have a lot that I'm trying to do, but I am having so much fun. I’m 32 years old and this is the first time that I’ve ever felt this way.
I realize that not everyone has the luxury to single-mindedly pursue the interests that are most fulfilling to them. And make no mistake, while I encourage everyone to find something which professionally and/or creatively fulfills them, I also recognize that the ability to do that is not something we should take for granted. There are a lot of people who wish that they had a job, even if it was one that they hated or disliked. There are probably a lot of people who wish that they were paid to discuss books, to teach college students, and to do research (although the graduate student/teacher job was certainly not as cushy as some people think it is).
Let’s also talk practically about my specific factors which might have made my transition less challenging. I was not exactly making a lot of money or working a lot of hours as a graduate student, so perhaps it was a smaller professional leap. My family also did not rely solely on my income, a fact which I think definitely made it so much easier for me to quit.
In addition, I have an extremely supportive partner, who is feeding our son breakfast right now so that I can finish this post. And it’s pretty much a fact that the time you spend pursuing something that you love/something that fulfills you is time taken away from something else. Blogging means less time writing a second book. Writing means less time for reading (which I often blog about), and vice versa. Writing and/or reading at night often means less time with my husband and/or son.
But I also don’t want to discount that I think my decision took at least some measure of bravery and faith in myself. And I also don’t want to discount that there is something wonderfully special about doing something for yourself. Investing your time in what makes you happy. I don’t think that you have to quit your job to get that feeling. But if there’s something that you’re doing that you think that you could cut out, or ways that you think that you could re-direct any of your free time to pursue something that you’re really invested in, do it.
A Random Assortment of Goodies
I’m still recovering from Christmas: the present-opening; the frantic dashes to keep my son from grabbing a priceless tchotchke (it’s a miracle I knew how to spell the beginning of that word to spell-check it)/running up the stairs/mauling a smaller baby, etc.; the gluttonous food consumption. To ease myself into post-Christmas life I’m eating homemade fudge and buckeyes for breakfast and offering some links to random articles/products/things.
“I’m a Muslim Mom Putting Christ into my First Christmas” was such a special read for me, particularly since I went to high school and college with Gulnaz. The article is moving and smart and serves as a great reminder that we are creating/upholding/and even writing traditions for our children. Definitely something for me to think more about.
I’m only about 20% through The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man, and it’s both extremely engrossing and informative. The nonfiction book focuses on Robert Peace, but all of the details have been provided by Peace’s loved ones, friends, former teachers, etc. This is a chronological account so I can’t give you a long-view of Peace’s life yet, but I can say that I’m appreciating learning more about the history of neighborhoods outside of Newark--including the 1967 Race Riots-- and I'm very much invested in Peace, his family, and friends. Such a great read so far.
I wrote about these dazzling earrings on my Christmas gift list, and I received a pair for Christmas (I'm 99% sure they are the Elle earrings and not Danielle, FYI). I’ve only worn them once, but let me tell you, they are gorgeous. They’re a little bit of a splurge, at least from my perspective, but I received them as a gift which makes them A++++. Thanks to my amazing mother-in-law for giving me such beautiful ear décor!
Emily Winfield Martin writes and illustrates the most beautiful children’s books. I love how fanciful Dream Animals and The Wonderful Things You Will Be are and the illustrations are swoon-worthy. I bought Day Dreamers for my son this Christmas, and I can’t wait to dive in. I buy these books for my son and myself.
I have had FitBits on and off for the last few years, and I got two FitBit Charge 2s for Christmas. I love having a watch on me at all times, particularly since I’m often waking up in the middle of the night to get my toddler, these days. This Charge 2 also has a date on the main screen, which is great since I’m a WFHM and my days often blend together. And oh yeah, it will track my exercise habits (or lack thereof), and make me feel even better about all of the mad dashing I’m doing to prevent my son from wreaking havoc ;).
These Book Matching Sites:
If you’re looking for a new book to read, ask me! But if you don’t want to ask me, try these sites: http://whatshouldireadnext.com/ and http://www.literature-map.com/.
The State of Kentucky:
I live in Tennessee now but I grew up outside of Louisville, Kentucky, and it’s even the setting for my book. Tennessee is wonderful, but there is something so magical about returning to the place where I grew up and knowing that it’s my city. It feels like home. Check out “The Ultimate Southern Adventure: Kentucky,” and plan your next family or friend activity. Some of my favorite things to do in and around Louisville—besides hang out with friends and family—are to visit Bardstown Road (my husband and I went to the phenomenal Sapporo this weekend for our second date night post-baby), go to any of the local bookstores (including Half Price Books), and of course drop by my family’s fence company, Shuck Fence Company, and hear more about the beautiful Kentucky style board fences we’re building and check out the retail products offered at the front (I love the boots). Hey, I had to do it.
This article gives me more incentive to play the tourist more in the place that I still call home.
So there you have it. What did you enjoy in the last few days?
Celebrating the Holidays After Loss
If you knew my Dad, you knew that he was funny. But maybe what you didn’t know was how far he was willing to go for a joke or to make his friends and family happy. Like that time we were sitting in a Myrtle Beach hotel room (Myrtle Beach = our childhood beach of choice) and my Dad came screaming out of the bathroom wearing my step-mom’s bathing suit. Or the many times that he used to honk the horn when we walked in front of the car (that one was only funny if you were one of the people sitting inside the car).
Or the time that he told my sister, brother, and I in the dimly lit interior of the truck that he was planning on proposing to his partner of ten years, Robin, and did we have any ideas for the proposal. Because he wanted this to be our proposal too, he let us sing Diamond Rio’s song “Norma Jean” with amended lyrics to Robin, and then he jumped up on the coffee table, held the ring box out with one hand, and sang to her: “Robin Way, would you marry me.” This particular method of proposal was my idea, and he didn’t fight it one bit. And maybe he should have. After all, Robin was so surprised by the proposal and by our performance that, in answer to his repeated inquiries, she would only say “Yes, if you’re serious. But I can’t tell if you’re serious.”
My Dad was my best friend, and I mean that sincerely. He was hilarious and sometimes he thought that I was funny too. He was generous with his time and his money, although he didn’t suffer fools and he expected us to work for our money, too. (Like collecting the rocks on our farm, helping run a buffalo festival, or growing an acre of tobacco.) He had a temper but he also had the biggest heart, and it beat for his family and friends. His words to some could occasionally be cutting, but he was ultimately a nurturer, someone who would give someone a hand a first, second, third, and fourth time because he cared and he believed that people were capable of anything: even changing less desirable habits.
He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia when I was in high school, but the disease didn’t define him, and it only limited him as much as was strictly necessary. He told us that we should make him keep walking around the hospital, even if he didn’t want to, and that maybe we could show other people not to give up through our example. He sent pizzas to the nursing staff and joked with them when they came to our room. He complained because I brought him roast beef sandwiches from Arby's but somehow didn’t know to include “worshtie sauce.” He let us wear his black ribbed slippers with the plaid lining and slip into bed next to him, and we turned our backs occasionally when he had to pee but couldn't comfortably make it to the bathroom.
He made my sister and I promise that after he was in remission we would write a book about cancer. He was not only worried about himself, but how we could help others.
I don’t think that when I was a teenager that I thought that much about getting married and having children, even if I was obsessed with the thought of falling in love. But if I did think about it, I certainly didn’t think that we would lose my dad before his 41st Birthday and that he would die never having met my future husband (despite the cruel fact that on the last day he was alive Daniel stood over the couch where he slept but I didn’t want to wake Dad up), or my beloved son, Sam. When I stop to think about these facts, as I am now, they almost rip my insides apart with sadness.
We lost Dad over twelve years ago—a fact which seems very strange—particularly when I remember that I lost him at nineteen. But I remember so much about him and fiercely wish that he were here, and the nights that I dream that he’s still alive are both among the best and worst dreams that I have.
I’m writing this because I’m home on a Christmas visit, and because at home, even more there where I currently live outside of Knoxville, I’m reminded of Dad and how we have tried to re-fashion our family after his passing without neglecting the memory of someone who was, and remains, so integral to what I know about a family.
I’m also writing because I want to say that I know how hard the holidays can be if you’ve experienced loss. Some of my friends have lost parents, many of them dads, and I know that life goes on but you never lose that understanding that you’ve lost something incredible in your life and that you want it back. If you’ve written about losing a parent on Facebook, please know that I’ve read your posts and commiserated, and I’m missing your parent too. When you say that you had the best dad (or mom) in the world, I know how you feel, and I’m happy that you’ve experienced that feeling, too.
This is a sad post, but I also hope that it’s somewhat happy. I’ve been blessed beyond belief with the people in my life: my dad, my mom, step-mom, my sister and brother and adopted sister and step-siblings and step-fathers, my in-laws, and best friends and friends, among others, and of course, most of all, my amazing husband and son. I wish that dad were here—and I’d do almost anything to change the fact that he isn’t—but I also love knowing that someone lived who was so wonderful and meant so much to me, that I still miss him this much even now.
I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas with the people that you love most. I know that I will.
I learned the truth about Santa Claus in the fourth grade.
Yes, the fourth grade. That means that I was probably ten years old, people.
And it went down in the worst possible way. My fourth-grade teacher had gathered us around her rocking chair so that she could discuss our next writing assignment. We were going to write a personal narrative, she said, about how we found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real.
You can imagine my shock, confusion, and horror at the assignment, given that only seconds before I would have wagered any amount of money that there was a person named Santa who had a bottomless bag of gifts and who visited every child, as long as they were good and believed in him.
Desperate to continue believing—and thus, to keep getting those presents—I held onto my shreds of hope throughout the rest of the school day until my mom told me that of course Santa wasn’t real.
That was also the night that I found out the bad news about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.
[I fabricated a story for my personal narrative assignment and made it very, very clear that I had known the truth about Santa for quite some time.]
Despite how I learned the unfortunate news about Santa, it didn’t change how I felt about Christmas: that it was, and is, a magical time of year. I recognize that not everyone feels the same way about Christmas, and I want you to know that I respect that. My own life experiences—being raised in a Christian household, as well as being a privileged child who was spoiled on Christmas morning—have certainly colored my view of the holiday.
But the fact remains that for me, it’s a special, wonderful time of year that does still mean opening presents (I’m an unrepentant present-lover), but more important, gathering with my beloved friends and family and actually investing time in each other. Since my siblings and I began leaving for college my family has been separated geographically, and particularly now that I’m the only person living away, I treasure each moment that I get to spend with them. Even the moments when my son squeezes an entire miniature Hershey’s Bar out of the package and onto his clothes. Even the moments when my Sis and Brother tell Daniel that I am a DQ (Drama Queen) and Daniel agrees. Even the moments when I remember the people who should be here, but who aren’t.
If you celebrate Christmas, I hope that you have the best day ever. And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope that you have the best day ever, too. Whatever your beliefs, I hope that you’re able to enjoy a slower pace and have whatever kind of time you need to re-charge you for the next year.
And if you have children who have reached a suitable age to be told the truth, please do it. I’m just thankful that I had that personal narrative assignment or I might be a 32-year old woman going to bed at 10:00 pm on Christmas Eve so that I wouldn’t keep Santa away.
I don’t know about you all, but pretty much every single book (at least 98%) that I’m reading these days has been free, and I’m not going to the library all of the time to physically check out books.
I realize that this opening sounds infomercial-ish, and the rest of the post probably will too, but I wanted to make sure that everyone that I’m friends with knows—and is taking advantage of--the free eBook library downloads that you can get with your library card.
I think we can all agree that, as much as we love Leslie Knope and usually agree with everything she says, libraries (and other facilities which provide free books) are among the best things on the planet.
Dan and I have had the pleasure of living in multiple cities within the past six or so years, due to my transient life as a graduate student. We got a library card in each city (Louisville, Shelbyville, Allons, Columbia, and Knoxville*), and once we had that card we could check out physical books from the library, or go to the library’s website and follow procedures in order to check out eBooks.
In my experience—and keep in mind, I’m drawing from a pretty wide southeast range—these websites always offer TONS of books, from bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction to the lesser-known. If the book that you want isn’t currently available, you can place a “Hold” on the item and then you’ll receive notification when the book has been checked out to you. You can typically check these books out for as many as 21 days.
So far, the worst problem that I’ve run into with these eBook downloads is that five or more books that I’m really looking forward to reading are released to me at once, and I have to concentrate on one or two and send the rest back unread. Wah wah. Oh wait, that’s the best kind of problem to ever, ever have.
I’ve bought probably three to five books from Kindle this year, and that’s including my own. Every other book that I’ve read—and I’ve read at least 96—has been checked out for free. That’s pretty fantastic.
I’m not sure how advantageous this system is from the library’s perspective—and God bless you, librarians and other keepers of books—but it’s been a huge boon to my reading life these last several years. And it’s pretty cool to see how libraries and librarians are embracing new technologies without losing their focus on the very important physicality of books.
So if you don’t have a library card from the city where you live, seriously think about getting one. Besides the obvious pleasure of being able to go to the library, hold a book in your hands, and delicately sniff its pages, you can also check out eBooks galore and slowly cross off more items from your Master Book Recommendation List (which I know we’re all keeping).
*We don’t live in Knox County so I have to pay $40 a year for a library card, but it’s so worth it. Consider doing that if you can’t find the perfect library in your own city.
A Shamelessly Reductive Book Game
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
There’s very little that I can say about the plot of this book that won’t reveal the huge twist. So this is all I will say: at the beginning of the novel, a driver of a car strikes and kills five year-old Jacob in front of his mom, and then the driver of the car drives away without stopping to help. The remainder of this novel focuses on the devastation which lingers following Jacob’s death and the investigative efforts to find the driver of the car.
If you take a look at the blurbs/reviews on this book, you’ll probably see the word “twist” mentioned over and over again. Yes, there is a surprising, superb twist in this book—one that threw me off for a few moments and required that I re-think some things that I thought I knew.
There. That’s all that I can say about the plot.
I had a difficult time reading the first couple chapters of this book because it opens with Jacob’s death, from the mother’s perspective. It’s gotten more difficult to read about things like this happening now that I’m a mom, and I think that this opening, plus the fact that very little seemed to happen plot-wise immediately following it, made the beginning a little slow for me.
But I kept reading (after first setting the book down for a month or so and then picking it back up), and I realized that this opening was perfect for the book—particularly after the twist happened. Once the pace picked up, it was full-steam ahead and I knew that something BIG was going to happen. I was suddenly glad that the slower beginning let me catch my breath a bit before I set off on a sprint.
So if your reading of the chapters immediately following Jacob’s death is similarly slow, persevere. You’ll be greatly rewarded.
I Let You Go is an engrossing read that is mystifying and very satisfying, and my expectations for the twist that I had read was coming were not disappointed.
Perfect If You: Are looking for a thriller/mystery with a superb twist
Not Recommended If You: Please don’t forget that this book opens with a child’s death, so even though the revealed answers to the mystery are satisfying, we’re still left with the fact that a child has been killed. It’s a fascinating, absorbing read but not really light reading.
Give me that HEA, please.
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