Genre/Age: Contemporary fiction, adult
Source: For review, WOW Tours
Summary: Megan, a single mother, has just found out that her cancer has returned, and her prognosis is not good. She’ll die soon, but she’s afraid to leave behind her 14 year old daughter, Olivia, and best friends Peter, Holly, and Holly’s husband, Jack. While the bond between these four friends is strong and undeniable, they all have secrets that could potentially tear them apart. However, Megan dies before anyone can reveal their secrets. Though Megan is physically gone now, her spirit is still around, watching her friends and family, reassuring them with whispers and touches. There are some big unanswered questions though: What will become of Olivia? Are the bonds of these friends strong enough to withstand betrayals, secrets, and even death?
My Thoughts: I like emotional books such as this one, and enjoyed the bond between mother and daughter. I also enjoyed the friendship aspect, and the closeness of the group. But, boy, did these friends have some skeletons in their closets! You won’t believe the secrets from their pasts, which will all affect one another greatly.
I thought Olivia was a really realistic teenage girl, but she was frustrating nonetheless. It seems she was always mad at Megan for one reason or another, even though she knew she wouldn’t be alive much longer. I get that teenage girls are like that, though, but I’d still like to think some kids would have more compassion for their dying parents. I really liked Megan’s friends and their shared histories, the way their lives entwined. My favorite was probably Peter, who had a tough childhood and as a result, had a hard time with commitment as an adult. I liked him because he was realistic and had a good heart. All of her friends were true, and completely devoted, despite the past and the lies that went along with it.
Another cool aspect of this book was that Megan was still around even after death. Her friends and Olivia could feel her presence, and smell her Lavender and coconut fragrance whenever they needed her the most. They sometimes heard her voice and felt her touch too. I really liked seeing things from Megan’s perspective as a spirit. It reminded me a bit of my favorite novel, The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold.
There was one thing that was a bit off-putting for me and it was that there was a lot of spirituality in this book. For example, the friends had a yearly ritual in which they listened to a chant, prayed, and tried to release their negativity to reconnect their minds and souls. While I know many people participate in these kinds of things, it’s just not for me.
All in all, though, this was an enjoyable book, albeit a bit sad, but still always hopeful. It provides a fresh and interesting perspective on death and the afterlife, though some of it was strange.
My Rating: 3/5