If you’re reading this, well, you know the last-letter drill. You made it. I didn’t. Get off the guilt train, because I know if there was any chance you could have saved me, you would have.
I need one thing from you: get out of the army and get to Telluride.
My little sister Ella’s raising the twins alone. She’s too independent and won’t accept help easily, but she has lost our grandmother, our parents, and now me. It’s too much for anyone to endure. It’s not fair.
And here’s the kicker: there’s something else you don’t know that’s tearing her family apart. She’s going to need help.
So if I’m gone, that means I can’t be there for Ella. I can’t help them through this. But you can. So I’m begging you, as my best friend, go take care of my sister, my family.
Please don’t make her go through it alone.
Listing the triggers would be spoilers so I've made them 'invisible'.
Highlight between the sunflower markers to read or skip...
🌻 Death of a serving soldier, child with a life-threatening illness (cancer), child loss.🌻
Yes... But a bittersweet one.
I'll try but, I'm warning you now, I'll ramble and possibly be incoherent and may not make sense because to explain myself I'd have to give too many spoilers and you need to read this book without the spoilers. Yes, it'll punch you in the gut and you'll wish someone had told you the frigging journey you'd be on in reading it so you could avoid the pain, like a sane person, but don't be a sane person because this book deserves to be read.
It needs to be read.
It is beautiful, it is poignant, it's heart-breaking, it's bittersweet and it is a joy... A bittersweet joy that rips out your heart, stamps it into the mud, sets it on fire and then proceeds to haunt you and make you cry when you think about it days after finishing it.
(And you will think about it for days... Trust me.)
I knew the premise of the story was a soldier who didn't make it home (not a spoiler, it's in the blurb) sending his best friend to look after his sister. His family.
So, I knew the book would be emotional.
I just wasn't prepared for how emotional it would be.
I wasn't prepared for how much I'd love Beckett, Ella, and Ella's kids: Maise and Colt.
Hell, I even loved the damn dog and spent just as much time worrying about her as I did the rest of the characters!
I even loved the departed Ryan - Ella's brother - even though we only met him for like 5 minutes.
These people... They got under my skin.
They were real, fully-fleshed out people, and they sweep you up in their story, they take you on a journey, you fall in love with them, you care, you want everything to be okay, you fight with them, laugh with them, and you cry your ever-loving heart out with them.
Just when you think you have things figured out, things change. Just when you begin to think you're on the home-straight - that everything is going to be okay - you're hit by a frigging truck.
I LOVED this book and I HATED the ending.
The last 10-15% of the book can go frigging do one.
Hadn't we all been through enough?! Seriously?!
It's been three days and I still cannot accept it. I still cry over it - proper snot-inducing ugly cry - because wtf?
It's not fair.
I guess that's the point. Life isn't fair. Bad shit happens to good people. You can't take life for granted... I swear I've been clinging to my kid and husband like a traumatized loon since finishing this. I could have handled everything this book threw at me accept the final twist.
I can't honestly say I'll read this again - because I don't think I could survive the gauntlet of emotions a second time - but I know that this book will be one I remember forever. It'll be one that stays with me. One I think about. One I want to read again, for I'll miss these characters, but just can't.
I also know that this will be one of the best books I'll read this year without a shadow of a doubt.
But none of them mattered because, even though she was the woman I loved, to her, I was just a stranger."