This book was a hard read for me. I was hoping to get a heartfelt, poignant story about redemption, second chances and love that conquers all. This book isn’t that at all.
A story about marriage, family, and the silver lining that holds it all together.
Once an aspiring young attorney, Josie looked forward to taking on the injustices of the world—one case at a time. Eleven years later, she’s a stay-at-home mom and battling demons that don’t require a law degree. Only keeping up pretenses proves more than she can bear when a bracelet that should have been hers shows up on the wrist of another woman. Her marriage slowly begins to unravel as an ex-lover comes back into her life. When he offers her the dreams she thought she’d lost, Josie must chose between the man she married and the one she let get away.
John has always known exactly what he wanted. A career as a high-powered attorney, followed by the perfect family of six, and then elected public service. So it was no surprise that the first time he laid his eyes on Josie, he knew she was the one he’d share his dreams with. More than a decade, and one tragic miscalculation later, all he has worked for is slipping through his fingers. Powerless to stem the flow, the one thing he remains certain of: he can’t lose the woman he married.
This story starts by painting a sad, hard situation for Josy. Her husband is absent most of the time, an affair is implied, she has given up on her hopes and dreams to be a stay at home mum, things we as women can relate to at one point or another in life (most things anyways, not so sure about the affair 🙂 ). But the more you read on in the book, you see how horribly Josy deals with this, by turning to alcohol in a very abusive way, repeating the patterns she loathed as a child, etc. The sympathy you had going for her at the beginning of the book starts to wane, and the distaste for John grows more as the evidence of his affair starts to ring true.
During this all Josy is turning to Brian, an ex-boyfriend and her current boss for support, and this kind, wonderful man is there at every turn offering her everything she needs.
Then the story takes us back to how they met, and here is where I really lost all interest in the H and h. At the time when Josy and John went on their first date, she was in a long term relationship of 5 years with Brian (the nice guy, and current boss!). This first date ends up with her sleeping with him.
I’m reading this, and thinking to myself, so here you are Josy, someone who cheated on your long-term boyfriend, and crying because your husband is cheating on you.
As much as I wanted to like this book, and don’t get me wrong, it is written well, I had a hard time with it. I know life is cruel, and infidelity is all around us. But the way these two handled it, and the road they had to travel to get there is astounding!
At one point in the book John has to explain to the children that he had an affair, and the oldest son gets very upset and tells his father exactly what he thinks of people who cheat. Meanwhile Josy almost slept with Brian, and would have if her friend didn’t walk into the office at that exact moment. What an example for their children!
This book is probably a true depiction of real life for certain people, but for me a book can be so much more than that. A book can inspire and move, it can uplift and influence you. A book that draws a certain picture can leave a mark on you for a lifetime. It can stimulate you to change or help and motivate you when you need it most. This book, sadly didn’t do that for me.
About the Author
A graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science, Julie N. Ford also earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of six women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, and the cutest Scottish fold cat you’ve ever seen. She loves to chat with readers.