This book made me cry. Actual tears flowed down my cheeks as I got to the last page. I was in my office cafeteria and that didn't stop me from sniffing and sobbing like a little girl! This book gave me Soo many feels - it's not possible to label them all. All I can say is that - hands down this is the best book I have read so far in 2018 and for me that speaks volumes on how awesome it truly is!!
This book has everything that makes for a perfect story - a gripping storyline, unprecedented twists and turns, sticking to reality, complex and complicated emotions, angst, tragedy, thrill, fights, sex, loads and loads of love, struggles and finally - HOPE. It might be a relatively lengthy read but every page had so much to offer! The words were magical, writing was beautiful and the emotions it evoked were so real, truly heart touching. There is not a single thing I can point out as a flaw and in my eyes, I can term it as a real CLASSIC!!
I really don't want to get into the story as the blurb is apt, staying everything that needs to be said without giving too much away. But at the core of it, it's a love triangle and a struggle to accept oneself after surviving a tragedy and yet fighting every single day with hope of a better future. This is as much as Briggs and Gavin's story as much as it is Kate's. Kate has always loved her husband - Gavin and the family she has with him -Their son Noah. But one tragic episode during the last deployment, she returns as a different person having fallen in love with a man who stood by her in her worse tragedy and offered silent strength and resilience. Kate had always been a strong, resilient, loyal woman but she can't help the circumstances under which she feels for Briggs and that changes everything. There were certain when I wasn't all that happy with the stands she took and how she refused to give her husband a chance and explain to him what she had been through and the hand that she had been deal with. But that was her last ditch effort to put back her past and try to blend with her family and be what they wanted her to be - The Kate they remembered and loved. And on the other side we have Briggs who loves her so much, so deeply, so unconditionally and yet he let's her go knowing how much her family means to her. As much as he loved her, he was never selfish. he did what was always the best for her and continued to love her even from far. Then we also have Gavin - The loyal sweet, understanding husband, ready to be whatever she wants him to be and ever patient, giving her the time and space she needs. All the characters conflicts were real and so very sad, I couldn't help crying for them and rooting for them all at same time.
Their struggle was so real. The type of suffering was different for all three of them but the pain was too much for me to bear at times, but they were stuck in a situation where there was no easy way out.
The authors outdid themselves with this book. Their writing was so deep that it brought out all the heavy emotions very well without making anything seem over the top and even the 'dark' and 'difficult' parts were describing in a way that highlighted the horror and not making it too cringe worthy. I also liked how thoroughly and intensively they had researched about the army and what actually goes about in the battlefield and actual deployments. I wasn't aware of so many things, and also terminologies but reading this book was a true eye-opener about the kind of lives the soldiers lead. For that again, hats off and kudos to the write. Though it's a fiction, it was so practical and realistic that it could actually pass as a real life story of the militants. Everything was handled with so much penchant especially where Kate's feeling were concerned. Her hesitancy towards her Attraction for Briggs, her feeling ashamed that she didn't want to do her service anymore and washing to return home. The horror she endured, and he hatred toward the army on her arrival back home. Her depression episodes and her love for her son Noah. It was so beautifully and tragically perfect.I especially loved Noah and also the character of Kate's sister - Sam who was there by her side all through it. There were some nice flashbacks of Kate's time with Gavin and they were rightly placed without being too long or short making the story more 'complete'.The letters were definitely like the cherry atop The ice cream. There are so many good points to note - the list will be endless. Last but not the least, I also loved how story was unpredictable. It want just about whom she chooses but also how, when and why. It wasn't a direct path and the journey had a smooth flow but was also something that I couldn't guess or foresee. It took it's own sweet time and towards the final chapters, there is lot of tension and I was waiting on bated breath to see how it will all the tie up together and even then tell authors manages to pull out another surprise. I really am speechless after reading this and I am Soo glad and proud that I got a chance to read this!! This is exactly what I needed and as tragic as it was, it was perfect and spellbounding.
10 perfect glistening stars!!!!!!