I have an upfront disclaimer for this one; this story is the telling of a young woman's grief and how it has shaped her life. It's not going to be for everyone, but if the reader has experienced grief before, they're most likely going to connect to the narrator, Wren, on a very personal level.
Now, an amazon summary: "A resonant debut novel about retreating from the world after losing everything—and the connections that force you to rejoin it.
Since the night of the crash, Wren Wells has been running away. Though she lived through the accident that killed her boyfriend Patrick, the girl she used to be didn’t survive. Instead of heading off to college as planned, Wren retreats to her father’s studio in the far-north woods of Maine. Somewhere she can be alone.
Then she meets Cal Owen. Dealing with his own troubles, Cal’s hiding out too. When the chemistry between them threatens to pull Wren from her hard-won isolation, Wren has to choose: risk opening her broken heart to the world again, or join the ghosts who haunt her." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
As someone who has grieved before for the loss of loved ones, this book caught me right in my heart. I didn't spend any tears crying on it, but I feel very moved and even more at peace with situations. Maybe it can do the same for you, I don't know.
The book itself is slow moving in pace yet a roller coaster of emotion. Wren, our narrator, has been through a harrowing accident; one that killed her boyfriend and left her confused beyond words.
The story begins sometime after the accident, when she took a desperate leap to get out of the town it all happened in and moves in with her Father. Her Father lives in the outskirts of a small city where he spends most of his days happily in his studio working on art. He has a reputation in the town (a good natured one) and so when his daughter comes to town, they're a little more eager to know what she's up to.
Wren however, chooses to spend most of her time in bed and waiting for the days to trickle by. Her Mother is overwhelmed with concern and calls her often during the day but her Father leaves her alone and kind of checks in on her.
So one day Wren is out riding her bicycle, trying to escape her emotions, her past, her vivid memories, and to escape from the desolation that's trapped inside of her when she almost gets taken out by a truck. The driver of the truck is Cal Owen and he has a mini panic attack as he checks to make sure she's alright. She's very insistent that she's fine, leaves her mangled bike there, and he gives her a ride home. He still feels all bent out of shape over nearly killing her and wrecking her bike and offers numerous ways to make amends. Wren retreats from him to the safety of her house.
Cal isn't done with her yet.
Cal takes it upon himself to get into contact with her Father and offer to buy her a new bike to replace the old. Her Father takes it upon himself to get Wren hired by Cal to help him out when he needs it (he's got MS). With her Mother's insistence, her Father sets up a library job for her to go to as well so she can start to pick up the shards of her life and get moving again.
All Wren wants to do is to be left alone.
This story takes us through every minor victory, through every harrowing step back, and to every little glimmer of hope that passes before Wren.
It was a lovely book.
It did take me a little longer to get through but simply because I wanted to take my time to get through it, to make sure I understood each moment. Part of it was the content was so heavy hearted that I needed a little breather now and again.
It was a great book, but again not for everyone.
It covers a lot of sensitive subjects like loss, relationships, coming into yourself, understanding the direction you might be going in, etc through the eyes of someone who never wants pity, but doesn't quite understand herself.
Heart wrenching (and heart heavy) for me to read.
But the book did get quite a few small smiles from me as there parts that were absolutely delightful. I think they were so delightful because we (the reader) were able to see exactly where she was coming from and exactly where it could lead her to go.