This was a pretty dark book. Lots of tragedy, heartache, and family dysfunction. I liked this story very much, though it was kind of depressing and the ending kind of left you stranded, wondering what else happened, wanting more from these two people, wondering what became of their torn lives.
Tess Callahan,(not a new writer, but this is her first novel) is very talented. She is very descriptive and I can tell, loves analogies. This is a wonderful, yet disturbing story about two step-cousins, April and Oliver and their lives together as children, growing up together as teenagers, and then separating as young adults only to be brought back together in their late 20's due to a family death. Their love for each other is not only confusing to themselves and each other, but leaves the reader wondering about the sexual tension that is felt between these two friends yet kind of family in a sense.
I had a difficult time putting this book down and couldn't wait until I could find time to finish reading it. It was like a train wreck and I couldn't stop reading it. I had to know what happened next. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys tragedies and stories with heartache and tears.
This book consumed me from the first to the last page. Every once in a while a character in a book can delve deep into a part of your memory you've tried to forget. April is that character for me. So much of April's life felt familiar (divorced parents, abuse, facing inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances from men and family members, alcoholism, living without purpose, making poor life decisions to escape certain situations, loss of a close relative). It was easy to relate to April's mind-set and see the how's and why's of her decisions. Not that I agree with all of them. April's vulnerability is something she does not reveal to anyone except Oliver. He, because of their childhood years together and because of trust, has the ability to zero in on the demons April carries around. And she does the same for him. Their past bond seemed as though a future for them was destined. Their ability to 'be in tune' with each other, even after years of separation, is like a magnetic force between the two. It drives them apart and pulls them together while they are in the midst of trying to "live life" and figure out if they ought to be together (or not). The story aggravated me in many ways. It stirred long-ago buried emotions in me but through reading April and Oliver's version of how they coped I, unexpectedly, experienced a renewed healing. In the end I felt empowered because Callahan's writing leaves me with the ability to do what I want with April and Oliver's future. Perhaps you will, too.
I could not put this book down - I even neglected school work and stayed up until nearly three in the morning finishing it. It's compulsive and I dreaded getting to the final pages, even though I feverishly wanted to know what was going to happen. The ending chapters were stunners - all this tension was building up and bound to finally topple over, but it kept perpetuating itself. It left me mad and dizzy, and absolutely in need of a sequel.
This is an amazing book that pulled me through a gamut of emotions, not the least of which was frustration, the frustration felt by the friend or relative of anyone being abused in any way, shape or form and the frustration endured by those who know someone who is or has squandered a great talent or gift. Sometimes those are the same person, in this case it is the two main characters in the book. Don't think you know what will happen either, because the outcome is not predictable at all! This is a great story told well.