Phyllis J. Piano
Spark Press, Aug 2017
Kindle, 297 Pages
Also available in paperback
Genre(s) Family, Grief, Women's Lit
Source Author's Rep
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review
What it's about...
Two families are in shock and grieving for the death of Stu, a young man they all loved deeply. He was the son of two of them, Ted and Gerrie. And he was Sunny's boyfriend, the love of her life. Her parents, Durk and Aleen were very fond of him as well.
He was killed in a freak accident following some shocking news by a young man named Vincent who is also trying to deal with the aftermath of it all.
How do they all deal with not only the shocking news that sent Stu running into the night but the pain of his death? How much can each one take before they break? Can any good come of all this?
The cover is exquisite with the pristine white background and the spill of scarlet rose petals looking like drops of blood. So vibrant!
The storyline is totally convoluted and amazing! I think this is the type of story we should always be expecting from Ms. Piano. I really don't think she will ever write a simple story.
The characters were all wonderful. Totally rounded with good depth and real personalities. Each had realistic quirks and idiosyncrasies.
The pace was good, picking up at times to be rather frantic as the author threw things at us almost faster than we could process.
The tension stayed high throughout the whole book. I just kept waiting to see how this would all work out. I cried lots of tears along with the characters. I got mad at them a lot, too. And there were a few times that I was disappointed in one or two of them.
And this is where you STOP if you don't want to see any SPOILERS...
The good, the bad, and the ugly...and how much it lit up my life... ✰✰✰✰✰
The beginning of the book had me totally fooled about how this was going to go. Ted, Stu's father, seemed almost like he was gay. He's playing house with his new place and has the two corgis now. He invites Sunny and Aleen over for the football games. Then he and Aleen get makeovers and go for counseling. He just seems gay sort of playing with the girls. But he's not. It was totally misleading.
Sunny meets some friends at school and they create a study group. She gets really close to two of them, Dawn and Benjamin. She tells them the story of what happened with Stu and his parents and hers and they are very supportive of her. The study group evolves and each of the kids becomes part of each others' families and really close. Eventually, Sunny begins to heal and she allows Benjamin in. He has been very patient with her, letting her know that he wants more than just friendship whenever she is ready. And eventually, she is ready.
I didn't like Gerrie, she wasn't a very likable person. She was all about her job and she seemed to be grumpy all the time. Gerrie went to the doctor and came home with the diagnosis that pulled everyone in and made them all have to work together. Her diagnosis makes everything sort itself out and helps everyone get over all the pain and anger. They had more to think about.
I don't know how realistic this ending would be in today's society. I keep thinking how it would work realistically. I don't know if it would work or not, but it does make a really great ending to a book. I can't recommend this to you enough!