Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she’s able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes.
After school pickup one day, she stops her car to wave a teenage boy across the street…just as another car comes hurtling down the road and slams into him.
Meg can’t help but blame herself for her role in this horrific disaster. Full of remorse, she throws herself into helping the boy’s family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more Meg tries to absolve herself, the more she alienates her own family—and the more she finds herself being drawn to the boy’s father, Andrew.
Soon Meg’s picture-perfect life is unravelling before her eyes. As the painful secrets she’s been burying bubble dangerously close to the surface, she will have to decide: Can she forgive herself, or will she risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart?
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that this was my first foray into the world of Karma’s writing. I don’t have a good excuse other than the sad reality of being a booknerd: so many books, so little time. That being said, Karma has officially become an auto-buy author, and I’ll be reading her first two books (Come Away With Me and The Choices We Make) ASAP.
This book was not an easy one to read. Meg is filled with a tremendous amount of guilt and holds herself responsible for Jack’s injuries. Her guilt begins to affect her daily life, including her relationships with her husband and daughter. She seems to be stuck in a vicious spiral that keeps getting stronger as she continues to try to ignore it. It was impossible to not feel what Meg was feeling, to not feel the gut-wrenching sensation every time she experienced a flashback or sensed her daughter slipping further away. And yet, I couldn’t help but admire her strength and tenacity in her attempt to keep moving forward, continuing to try to be that pillar for the people around her. And that ending. . . I thought I t was a perfect ending point for this story arc.
I had the pleasure of meeting Karma this past weekend at a stop on her book tour, and I asked why she keeps writing books like this, books that feel so personally sensitive and really just rip at your emotions (from what I’ve heard, her first two books are just as emotional, if not more so), and her answer made so much sense. She said she is really fascinated with how women cope in situations when they’re faced with that one big unexpected life-changing moment that turns everything on its side (I’m paraphrasing, so the lack of eloquence in this statement is completely on me). And that’s probably why it was so easy to relate to and empathize with Meg, despite my never having been in her shoes. As women, we often find ourselves pushing through difficult situations by trying to keep everything moving smoothly around us, by dealing with our “stuff” when our schedules allow for it. Perhaps you could say it’s our default setting.
If you’re a fan of women’s fiction, of strong female characters that feel like real, genuine women, this book is for you. If you’re a fan of a story that is going to make you feel all the feels, this book is for you.
Thank you to Booksparks for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.