Number 9 on my 52 Books by 52 Publishers book reading challenge is by this publisher, which is an Amazon imprint:
About Lake Union
Lake Union was created two and a half years ago as the home for book club fiction, or rather, great books for readers who love compelling fiction and who love talking about books with their friends. The editors for Lake Union are those readers! We adore the books we publish, the authors who write them, and the readers who devour them.
Lake Union is an Amazon publishing imprint.
The book I am reviewing is:
Zoe knows that it wasn’t really her fault. Of course it wasn’t. But if she’d just grasped harder, run faster, lunged quicker, she might have saved him. And Edward doesn’t really blame her, though his bitter words at the time still haunt her, and he can no more take them back than she can halt the car that killed their son.
Two years on, every day is a tragedy. Edward knows they should take healing steps together, but he’s tired of being shut out. For Zoe, it just seems easier to let grief lead the way.
A weekend in Paris might be their last hope for reconciliation, but mischance sees them separated before they’ve even left Gare du Nord. Lost and alone, Edward and Zoe must try to find their way back to each other—and find their way back to the people they were before. But is that even possible?
This really was a lovely read. It was easy, enjoyable, and good at invoking emotions within me. It was such a fascinating and heartbreaking tale, and tackled grief in a fresh and raw kind of way. You would think that judging by the subject matter, the misery of the book would be suffocating. But actually Mercer manages to completely avoid that, and I found it both refreshing and a big relief.
I can’t say I was a big fan of either of the main characters personally, but that might well be because Zoe and Edward don’t really like themselves. After the death of their son, they completely switch off on one another, and at different times throughout the story, they both want to find their way back into each others’ arms and run away from each other forever. Which outcome will it be? I won’t give it away here.
The way the story is told, as the narrative switches from protagonist to protagonist, is done really well. It gives a well-needed balance and shows how grief It also doesn’t shy away from controversy: you will find that both characters will do things that you really hate throughout the story. And yet somehow it didn’t make me turn away. It was strangely appealing to read about the darker side of human behaviour when bad things happen to good, innocent people.
What made the book fascinating is that it approached love and romance from a much bleaker, more challenging place than usual romance novels, but actually this enhances it and makes their love more believable. It also highlights the fact that romance is never plain sailing – even after the couple seemingly have found their ‘happy ending’ in the past.
The two voices are distinct and convincing, and Leah writes two very different people very well. I really enjoyed the story and none of it felt stiff or contrived. A lot of the narrative concentrates on happy times from the past, too, so that helps lessen the pressure of grief as you read through it.
It’s a job well done. I personally think it’s a great book.
The only thing I will say about this book that’s less than positive is the quality of the paper. As you can see from the picture, the front cover and the back cover curled over pretty quickly after I started reading. I’ve not treated this book any differently to how I treat any of the others I read, so I would recommend to Lake Union (Amazon) that they would do well to invest just a bit more in the paper quality.
Other than that it’s a four star review from me. A really enjoyable read.
Thank you to book publicist Katrina Power for my review copy in exchange for an honest review.