What Amazon says
A coming-of-age novel about the pain of misconceptions and learning from them.
When life gives you lemons…
Mom is barely in the grave and the prodigal child is here to pick the bones clean.
I don’t want her here. My sister’s defection is a wound that won’t heal, and her return simply rubs at the scabs covering my heart.
I’ve managed just fine without her. She can go back to her fancy college and forget about us- that’s what she does best anyway.
If only I didn’t need her help. Or miss her so much.
The day my dad committed suicide I ran. I’ve been running ever since.
Going home is supposed to be the answer. Instead, it makes me question every thoughtless decision I’ve made.
My sister hates me. My little brother barely knows me. And Simon… is engaged.
None of it matters- or so I tell myself. I’m here to make amends and face a past haunted by regret.
As long as I can convince myself to stay.
Letting Go is a young adult romance dealing with tragedy, restitution, and love in all its aspects. The story relates to sensitive topics that may be triggering for some readers.
I reviewed this book in my capacity as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. If you would like your book reviewed, you can contact Rosie Amber here: http://rosieamber.wordpress.com/.
Renee Thomas escaped her dysfunctional family after the suicide of her father on the same evening as the betrayal of her long time boyfriend, Simon. Unable to cope, she just upped and left, with no regard for the effect on younger sister, Izzy, who bore the brunt of the subsequent collapse of the Thomas family. Renee has done well and earned herself a Master of science in Physical Therapy with a minor in physiotherapy. She has made peace with her past and has plans to open her own physiotherapy clinic when she learns of the death of her mother. Renee is compelled to return home and try and help her younger sister and brother overcome their loss and move forward.
Life has a way of surprising us, and Renee comes across her ex-boyfriend, the minute she enters town. He has moved on, training as a paramedic and getting engaged. In her distraction over seeing Simon, she doesn’t notice an elderly lady jay-walking across the street and accidentally knocks her down. The elderly lady turns out to be Simon’s grandmother.
Renee soon finds herself the object of Izzy’s anger and condemnation and the caregiver of Simon’s grandmother while she recovers. Worst of all, Renee discovers she still has feelings for Simon.
Izzy’s job is under threat, and her younger brother might be taken from her by the state, and this brings out the worst in Izzy. For me, Izzy was a most interesting character. She stepped up after the death of her father and disappearance of her sister, and cared for her mother, who became seriously ill, and her younger brother. Renee’s disappearing act was a bitter pill for Izzy who has subsequently built up walls of indifference to protect her damaged heart. Underneath her anger and resentment, Izzy is a caring and loving woman who has made the best of the cards she was dealt in life. I liked Izzy very much and kept hoping she would get an opportunity to uplift herself and have a bit of freedom from the responsibility and drudgery she’d assumed prior and subsequent to her mother’s death.
Renee needs to manage her feelings and interactions with Simon, help his grandmother, and deal with Izzy’s rejection. Renee was a little immature at the start of the book and didn’t seem to really understand the impact her impetuous flight had on her brother and sister. She did have some guilt and a need to make good on the situation, but she wasn’t able to prevent conflict with Izzy through understanding. As the story progresses, Renee acknowledges the errors of her past, although I didn’t think she should have stayed as she had really achieved in her personal capacity in the intervening period, she could have offered her siblings some support, even from a distance. Renee’s character experiences a lot of growth over the course of the story.
This book is exciting and compelling as Renee sets about trying to take her share of the responsibility of raising her brother and helping her sister, as well as and unravelling her feelings about Simon. Renee must also confront the demons from her past that initiated her flight on that fateful night.