There are books that make you laugh, cry, fall in love, think, feel, relate, hate and empathize. After reading a book that wasn’t great, not because of the story per se but because it made me lose faith in humanity, in people even if for just the week that I read it. I don’t want to live that way, thinking the worst of people. While I know there is ugly in the world, I’ve seen it and lived it at times I don’t always want to immerse myself in it.
I was so grateful for Kristen gifting me with The Girl On The Train, but I had such a hard time between the multiple person point of view, the changes in time frames and also the characters themselves. Out of them all not one was likable, and most displayed huge lapses in judgement and morals. It took me a few days to pinpoint why I didn’t like it overall. Maybe I wasn’t in the frame of mind to be impartial or that I was expecting too much but I think when I read it, I wanted it to leave me feeling better, not worse.
While I know that evil exists as does evil people I don’t want to live in that darkness. I would rather see the good in people, the perseverance, the grit and the determination. I’d rather reach for adventure than revenge.
Then I picked up a new book from my kindle bookshelf, Where The Road Takes Me, and my faith was restored.
To quote one of my good friends Steph’s favorite movie….
….somebody who’s taught me about the kinda person I want to be. – Dirty Dancing.
Neither character came from perfect beginnings but it was how they were choosing to live now that mattered. Chloe may have grand designs to run away after graduation, fearing that she is doomed to the same fate as her Aunt and Mother, but she did live with an open heart. She is trying to protect the people she loves, even the foster family that seems to love her even when she told them not to.
Blake is a promising Basketball star but he fights his own battles too. While choices are made they still live with an honesty that is refreshing. You also have the best friend who is a young single dad trying to raise his son, and adds in some comic relief. When choices are placed in front of them, they may make choices in fear but they also follow their hearts. Some scenes and situations are a little cliche but I would much rather live my life the way these characters do. I want to live with my heart open even when it’s been stepped on.
When a book makes me feel and care enough to cry, I know it is a book worth recommending. I hope you give this book a shot. A happily ever after awaits.
The next book on my to read list is a little bit grittier of a family tale, The Far End Of Happy which is coming out on May 5th and based on the authors real life tragedy.
ABOUT THE FAR END OF HAPPY:
The Far End of Happy is a powerful new novel based on author Kathryn Craft’s personal experience with a stand-off involving her husband. Here Craft delivers “real, raw emotion” (Library Journal) exploring a marriage unraveled by mental illness; and one man’s spiral towards a violent conclusion that tests the courage, love, and hope of the three women he leaves behind.
When the emotionally troubled Jeff engages police in a deadly stand-off, his wife, mother-in-law, and mother struggle to understand why the man they love has turned his back on the life they have given him, the one they all believe is still worth living.
“Framing the novel within a 12-hour period keeps the pages turning (Library Journal).” Narrating from the alternating perspectives of three women, whose lives will be forever altered by Jeff Farnham, gives an intimate look at the steps a woman will take to get the help her husband so urgently needs while desperately trying to keep her children safe.
ABOUT KATHRYN CRAFT:
A former dance critic who wrote for The Morning Call daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for nineteen years. Craft wrote exclusively nonfiction until she was plunged in the kind of real-life drama that demands attention. In 1997, after fifteen years of marriage, her husband committed suicide in a police standoff, leaving her and their two young sons.
The Far End of Happy was born from Craft’s need to make sense of what her husband had done. Kathryn has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is also the author of The Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Website: www.kathryncraft.com