Thursday, August 24, 2017

In This Moment

One of my favorite books of all time is Come Away With Me by Karma Brown. I love it so much. If you haven't read that book, you absolutely must, and you're going to need some tissues because chapter 53 is going to kill you. Just... if you missed my review of that book and all of the reasons you need it in your life, go HERE and catch yourself up and you'll see why I will always enthusiastically buy anything Karma Brown is trying to sell me.

Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she's able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes.

After school pickup one day, she stops her car to wave a teenage boy across the street…just as another car comes hurtling down the road and slams into him. 

Meg can't help but blame herself for her role in this horrific disaster. Full of remorse, she throws herself into helping the boy's family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more Meg tries to absolve herself, the more she alienates her own family—and the more she finds herself being drawn to the boy's father, Andrew.

Soon Meg's picture-perfect life is unraveling before her eyes. As the painful secrets she's been burying bubble dangerously close to the surface, she will have to decide: Can she forgive herself, or will she risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart?

I wanted to read this one for a couple of reasons, the first being it's Karma Brown. You know I love her. Second, the concept of waving a kid across the street and someone else hitting them? A conversation my mom and I have had so many times. Our town is notorious for not stopping for pedestrians and if you're going to cross a busy road, you are absolutely taking your life into your hands. It doesn't matter if you have a small child or a stroller, cars just whiz right on by. Sometimes they'll wave fun gestures at you as they do. But I always stop because I remember what it's like to wait and wait. Also, we live in northern Wisconsin, the weather is awful 75% of the time so nobody should be losing feeling in their face from the temperature because cars won't stop. (end rant) The fear is that, while stopping, someone is going to not see us stopped, or not see the person walking and just run them over. My biggest fear is hitting someone in my vehicle, which is why this book called to me.

Let me reiterate that I love, love, LOVE Karma Brown. I did not love this book. In fact, I so strongly disliked Meg that I almost didn't finish it, and the only thing that kept me going was knowing how well this author pulls it together at the end. Unfortunately it just didn't happen for me this time. We have Meg, who very much reminds me of my old self, always on the go, juggling everything for everybody, sometimes dropping the ball and everyone acting as if it's the end of the world when it's a small blip in the day considering how much got done. Meg is picking up her daughter Audrey from school and, as we all do, she sees Jack waiting to cross the street so she stops and waves him across.

Only to see a car next to her slam violently into him and send him sailing.

That is the catalyst for the rest of the story which is carried by Meg's repeatedly terrible choices and assumption that she is always right. As it turns out, Meg isn't always right, and she's seemingly the most selfish character I have read about even though the book centers around her feeling so guilty that she does whatever she can to make up for it. We delve into her past and the death of her best friend Paige, how she was never honest with people about that trauma, we see current Meg who is getting a little too close for comfort to the boy's dad, not attending to her marriage, screwing up at work, and trying to control her daughter to the point of driving her to rebellion. The worst is that the ending, to me, felt so rushed and without any real conclusion? Everything was kind of up in the air and it just felt like we got through all of the plot points, so let's finish this up.

It was so hard for me to get through this and I know I'm in the minority. Sometimes I'm not able to look beyond a character's flaws to the story and that's maybe the case here. I think other people are probably going to love this book, and maybe her debut novel set me up for unrealistic expectations. Overall I can only give this one 3/5 stars and it kills me to do that but I have to be honest.

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