REVIEW – After the End by Clare Mackintosh

After the End

Published June 25, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

 

“After the End” was a novel Clare Mackintosh had been wanting to write for more than a decade. Twelve years ago, Clare and her husband had to make an extremely difficult decision. Ever since they have questioned whether or not they made the right choice.

I knew this was going to be quite different from the author’s previous novels, but I was excited to read it.

I thought this was an excellent read!

Parents often have to make tough decisions. Occasionally, they may have to make what seems like an impossible decision. “After the End” does an excellent job of showing what the outcome might be for both sides of an incredibly hard decision.

The book opens with everyone in a courtroom, waiting for a ruling that will change many lives.

For the last year, Max and Pip have been made many trips to the hospital with their two-year-old son, Dylan. After multiple treatments and surgery, Dylan should’ve been getting better. However, they had to return to the hospital and now Dylan has been in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for quite some time.

Pip and Max often torture themselves with “What ifs”. What if they’d noticed symptoms sooner? What if they had trusted their instincts? etc…

Dylan’s doctor tells Max and Pip that she needs to speak with them. The news she gives leaves them with an impossible decision to make.

It’s a decision they may not be able to agree on.

Wow. What an incredible read!

Most of the story is told from Pip and Max perspectives, but we also hear from Dylan’s doctor. Dr. Khalili works hard for the children she treats. We see how difficult it is being the person who often has to give bad news, and how hard it is to not get emotionally involved with patients and family members.

As I read I constantly wondered what I would do if I was in a similar situation. People cope in many different ways.

After the End” was a uniquely written and thought-provoking novel. I was a little confused at first when reading the “After” chapters but once I caught on it all made sense. I was gripped by this heart-wrenching read.

I was prepared for an emotional read but this story hit me harder than I expected. This is not a novel I will soon forget.

I’d like to thank G.P. Putnam’s Sons for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

 

Throwback Thursday – Night Road by Kristin Hannah

throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is:

 

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

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Published March 22, 2011 by St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads Description:

For a mother, life comes down to a series of choices.
To hold on…
To let go…
To forget…
To forgive…
Which road will you take? For eighteen years, Jude Farraday has put her children’s needs above her own, and it shows—her twins, Mia and Zach—are bright and happy teenagers. When Lexi Baill moves into their small, close-knit community, no one is more welcoming than Jude.  Lexi, a former foster child with a dark past, quickly becomes Mia’s best friend. Then Zach falls in love with Lexi and the three become inseparable.Jude does everything to keep her kids on track for college and out of harm’s way. It has always been easy until senior year of high school. Suddenly she is at a loss. Nothing feels safe anymore; every time her kids leave the house, she worries about them.On a hot summer’s night her worst fears come true. One decision will change the course of their lives. In the blink of an eye, the Farraday family will be torn apart and Lexi will lose everything. In the years that follow, each must face the consequences of that single night and find a way to forget… or the courage to forgive.

Vivid, universal, and emotionally complex, NIGHT ROAD raises profound questions about motherhood, identity, love, and forgiveness. It is a luminous, heartbreaking novel that captures both the exquisite pain of loss and the stunning power of hope. This is Kristin Hannah at her very best, telling an unforgettable story about the longing for family, the resilience of the human heart, and the courage it takes to forgive the people we love.

My Thoughts:

Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors. I am always excited when I hear a new book is coming out (crossing my fingers we hear about one soon!). There are some that I would love to read again and this is definitely one of them.

Night Road” did not disappoint.  I couldn’t put it down but at the same time, I didn’t want it to end.

Kristin Hannah writes books that many people can relate to in one way or another. This was a gripping and emotional read, painful at times, but so worth it.

An extremely well-written tale of love, friendship, loss, and forgiveness.

I can’t wait to read it again!

 

Have you read NIGHT ROAD? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Music Monday – Scars by Papa Roach

musicmonday

Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

Today I am sharing:

Scars by Papa Roach

 

An old favorite of mine.

I hope you enjoy! 🙂 

 

Scars by Papa Roach
.
I tear my heart open
I sew myself shut
My weakness is
That I care too much
And my scars remind me
That the past is real
I tear my heart open
Just to feel
Drunk and I’m feeling down
And I just want to be alone
I’m pissed ’cause you came around
Why don’t you just go home
‘Cause you channel all your pain
And I can’t help you fix yourself
You’re making me insane
All I can say is
I tear my heart open
I sew myself shut
And my weakness is
That I care too much
And our scars remind us
That the past is real
I tear my heart open
Just to feel
I tried to help you once
Against my own advice
I saw you going down
But you never realized
That you’re drowning in the water
and I offered you my hand
Compassion’s in my nature
Tonight is our last stand
I tear my heart open
I sew myself shut
And my weakness is
That I care too much
And our scars remind us
That the past is real
I tear my heart open
Just to feel
I can’t help you fix yourself
But at least I can say I tried
I’m sorry but I gotta move on with my own life
I can’t help you fix yourself
But at least I can say I tried
I’m sorry but I gotta move on with my own life
I tear my heart open
I sew myself shut
And my weakness is
That I care too much
And my scars remind me
That the past is real
I tear my heart open
Just to feel
I tear my heart open
I sew myself shut
And my weakness is
That I care too much
And our scars remind us
That the past is real
I tear my heart open
Just to feel
.
Songwriters: Dave Buckner / Jacoby Shaddix / Jerry Horton / Tobin Esperance
Scars lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Reservoir Media Management Inc

REVIEW – The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

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Published June 11,  2019 by Minotaur Books

 

Alice appears to have it all. She has a great family, a wonderful home, and a successful business.

Alice’s first husband, Tom died over ten years ago, and it was devastating. But eventually, she met and fell in love with Nathan and married for the second time.

Alice and Nathan have been trying to land a deal for a big project in Japan. AT Designs is the company that Alice and Tom started. Nathan joined the company and takes care of the business side of things while Alice takes care of the creative part.

Alice’s best friend is Beth. Beth’s daughter Millie goes to school with Olivia. Alice and Beth are very close and supportive of each other. They both lost their husbands, although it was in very different ways. Beth’s ex cheated on her and Beth is still quite angry about it.

Alice is thankful she has such a loving and loyal husband in Nathan.

Then Nathan starts acting strangely. But he seems to have an answer for everything. Alice WANTS to believe what he tells her, but her head and heart say two different things.

Is she being played for a fool?

One night Alice is browsing Facebook when she comes across a profile that shakes her entire world.

Luckily she has her best friend to lean on…

But after her next conversation with Beth, Alice’s world explodes yet again.

Is there anyone Alice can trust?

So many secrets, so many lies, and a whole lot of drama had me quickly flipping the pages of this engaging psychological suspense novel.

The novel is broken into three parts. Part one is Alice’s point of view. Part two is from Beth’s perspective and part three brings everything together. There were times I found myself annoyed with Alice and Beth and some of the decisions they made, but overall, this was quite an enjoyable read.

The First Mistake” was an interesting story of suspicion, jealousy, and betrayal. It also had some very surprising twists. I was positive I had things figured out, but in most cases, I was way off.

 

I’d like to thank Minotaur Books for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.