This was my first time reading from this author and I was instantly entrapped by her story. I didn’t want to put it down and I didn’t want it to end.. When I read the back cover I knew I had to read this book. Here is the blurb that captivated my interest.
In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.
On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.
Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.
That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.
Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?
Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.
You start to understand that grief is chronic. That it’s more bout remission and relapse than it is about a cure. What that means to you is that you can’t simply wait for it to be over. You have to move through it, like swimming an undertow.
It gave me goose bumps, it made me laugh and cry and fall in love with all of the characters. It is not a love triangle. Emma doesn’t fall in love with two men at once. She falls in love with them at different times in her life with no imagination that they would ever cross paths. Everything changed when the impossible happened, the husband who was thought to be dead, returned home.
It’s gut wrenching — both of this woman’s past and present loves somehow in her life at the same time, even though one of them had supposedly died. If Jesse had never disappeared, she would never fallen in love with Sam. But if Jesse had actually died, she would have certainly loved Sam for the rest of her life. Both were good men. Neither one is ever made out to be a ‘bad guy’. At different times in her life and under different circumstances, she’d fallen in love with both of them. She loved them both. How could anyone choose?
It is not just a decision for Emma, but one for Sam and Jesse as well. Sam loves Emma unconditionally and understands that she needs to see if she still has feelings for her long lost husband. In a story where everyone’s heart is breaking, what do you do? Give her up? Fight for her?
“Just… just do me a favor.”
“Don’t stay with me if you want to be with him,” he says. “Don’t do that to me.”
The only thing that kept Jesse alive, kept him fighting to get to safety, was coming home to Emma. Their love is what kept him alive. He came home to discover that everyone gave up on him, they stopped looking, and that nothing stayed the same.
Sam is ready to give up the women that he loves, for her happiness. If being with Jesse was to make her truly happy, that’s what he wanted.
“I have to let you go and I have to hope that you come back to me.”
What a painful thing to have to say. Is that what it really means to love someone? To love them so deeply that you are willing to lose them? Both men had to do the same, knowing that she would only come back to one of them. They both loved her.
This story tears your own heart in two as you find yourself on both teams. You want Emma to be with both because they both had such love-filled happy lives together. Jesse had his high school sweetheart, and Sam got a woman who was finally happy after picking up the pieces of her shattered life. Emma was a completely different person for each man, which really brings out different types of love.
The ending really brings it all in and leaves a beautiful message. It truly brings out the concept of love. I hope that you take the opportunity to read this book. It is very well written, my copy is highlighted and written in on every page. I need a clean one to store in my collection. After reading this story I went and purchased every book she had written that I could get my hands on and I tell you, they are all phenomenal.
Cozy up with a blanket and a cup of tea….and a box of tissues as this is an emotional journey with Emma, Jesse and Sam. You will not be disappointed.