This book was heart warming but fell short of meeting my set expectations. It was good but in my eyes, not as good and strong as the buzz surrounding it. I expected a gritty, angst filled romance but what I got was a sweet and a little heavy second chance romance. Again, it wasn't bad but just not that great or awesome or extraordinary.
For starters, I was really curious about how the author dealt with PTSD and how it would be a central theme of the love story between Fisher and Lucy. The blurb was a solid winner, but sadly there was notuch depth with the PTSD theme. All focus was on his last episode of PTSD that finally made Fisher snap and cut all his ties with Lucy. That was central point, accepted BUT there was so much missing in their years of marriage that was just told and not SHOWN. I wanted to feel the pain of them drifting apart because of PTSD. How their love started to fail and how truly in agony Fisher was with his helplessness but all that was missing except for that final Episode of his and the consequences and aftermath of the same. But then again, it started out great with the letters, vows, promises and flash backs. There was a lot of Nicholas Sparks feel to it but still the core of the story was missing. There were too many elements put together and none of them were explored thoroughly and to my satisfaction.
Though the first part was good, after a point, it started to play out like a film with the audience waiting for a HEA. Not necessarily a bad thing, but from Tara Sivec, I was hoping for something more original and unqiue? I did love the whole small town community concept and how the life in Fisher island was. It was dealt beautifully but the story itself wasn't given so much attention. It was wandering and lacked soul to it.
Kind of spoilers - But I didn't like the random turn the story took when the focus changed from PTSD and how he was recovering to how people change with time and how Lucy is strong enough to bear and even enjoy the 'hardened edges of her man' that was conveniently shown through rough sex. It's an interesting concept on its own, bit doens't necessarily gel with the whole PTSD element and doesn't work for Lucy and Fisher. It kind of steals the light from their pain and the love they have shared, making it more about sex and physical ramifications of that love. But yeah those scene were super hot, so credits to Tara sivec for such scenes .
The characters were nice and I expected Fisher to make his share of mistakes and be a little flawed. It's kind of expected after everything that he has been through but no, the author tries too hard to paint him as a perfect firgure, whose love for Lucy never ever faded. Again sweet but not very convincing. Lucy is strong, supportive, independent and for majority of the book I liked her except towards the end, when she hears some nasty words from Fisher's ex+ Melanie and starts to doubt him.I mean, really?! after everything he told her and had been through, he at least deserves a chance to be heard. I know it was hard for her to trust him again, but ignoring him and assuming things is just stupidity. I felt it was drama for the sake of drama to lead a very cinematic climax. From a book perspective it wasn't required .
I especially had a problem with Stanford's character. His character wasn't flushed at all. He was just thrown around, not given a backbone. Neither was he good or bad, but got dumped mercilessly only to come again and help Lucy all over again. WHY?! I get the purpose of his character but he was so badly handled that I feel sorry for him! Even Melanie for that matter. She comes out of nowhere and at last ends up with Stanford? Like WTH? There wasn't even a single scene of those two together. It makes no sense of whatsoever
The ending was bittersweet but was too dramatic. I get that the author wanted to portray an epic love story with the lighthouse as the reference BUT it need not have to be soo sweet with ending making all relations PERFECT. Life never works out that perfectly. For me it was unrealistic and too hard to accept.
Anyway, it wasn't entirely bad but far from being what I thought or wanted it to be. Settling for three stars.