the things we do for love.

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“Years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child have broken more than Angie DeSaria’s heart. Following a painful divorce, she moves back to her small Pacific Northwest hometown and takes over management of her family’s restaurant. In West End, where life rises and falls like the tides, Angie’s fortunes will drastically change yet again when she meets and befriends a troubled young woman.

Angie hires Lauren Ribido because she sees something special in the seventeen-year-old. They quickly for a deep bond, and when Lauren is abandoned by her mother, Angie offers the girl a place to stay. But nothing, could have prepared Angie for the far-reaching repercussions of this act of kindness. Together, these two women-one who longs for a child and the other who longs for a mother’s love-will be tested in ways that neither could have imagined.”

This book… where do I ever even begin. Well, to start things off, let me first state that this book is unbelievably good. I laughed and I cried. I’ve always been a huge fan of Kristin Hannah. The way she writes, brings these characters to life. That brings me to the next discussion; characters! This book is written in two points of views – Angie’s and Lauren’s.

Angie: Main character who has had trouble conceiving a child with her husband Conlan, and is also going through a divorce. She moves back to her hometown to help her Mama (Maria) and her two sisters (Mira and Livvy) out at the failing restaurant that her late Papa built.
Lauren: A poor teen living with her troubled mother and preparing for her last year at a catholic high school while also planning to go to college.

There were so many times during this book that my heart broke for Angie. Reading about the loss that she’s had, all the while wanting to be a mother so terribly. There was a part in the book where Angie is in a store (like a CVS), and she sees a mother and her children. The mother was in dirty clothes and carrying packets of cigarettes and a case of beer. The four children that were with the woman, had dirty hair and faces and their shoes had holes. When Angie runs out of the store crying and gets back into her car, she sees that when the children get in their own car, none of them are wearing seat belts as the mom drives away. Angie says a line in the book that really hit home – “Why did some women make babies so easily, while others…” I’ve seen my fair share of women who aren’t able to conceive or have lost babies. In my own family even. I have that same fear of some day not being able to have any of my own children. I, too, have felt that same thing that Angie has felt. It’s a sad feeling to have when you think about all the childless couples and people out there who would give anything for a child… and then you see the individuals who in turn do have children, and they are abusive or just down right bad parents. Take for example Lauren’s mom. Lauren’s mom is an alcoholic who couldn’t give two cents about her daughter. To her, Lauren is the mistake that she made at a high school dance. No child should ever be made to feel like a mistake.

My heart also broke for Lauren as well. I am lucky to have had a family who has always been there for me no matter what. Lauren, however, has never been able to rely on anyone. Her mother, like I mentioned earlier, is an alcoholic who doesn’t work. When the bills need to be paid, it’s Lauren who steps up. I’ve never been able to fully wrap my head around a parent who acts like the child, and the child that has to pick up the slack and be the parent. A kid isn’t supposed to have to grow up fast and be an adult. The whole background on Lauren made me sad. It definitely made me think about my own family, and made me extremely thankful for them!

Again, this book is fabulous. It was such a great read. The way Kristin writes, it’s hard not to fall in love and get hooked, just by reading the first page. I totally recommend this book to everyone!

 

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