by Andrea Randall 4/9/13
“Heroes don’t always wear capes, badges or uniforms. Sometimes, they support those who do.”
Natalie is a wife.
Natalie is a mother.
Natalie is a cutter.
Clawing at walls built by resentment, regret, and guilt, Natalie cuts as an escape from a life she never planned.
Staying present is only possible when you let go of the past. But, what if the past won’t let go?
“It hurts at first. Like hell. But a second later it’s gone – just gone and I’m left with a visual reminder for the rest of the day that I’m in control of my pain, anxiety, and fear.”
Finished this book last week but it’s took awhile to finally sit down and write a review. Had to let this one marinate…let my mind process it for a bit. And still I’m having issues writing what I feel about this book. To say the least it was depressing.
In this story we meet Natalie, a woman struggling with depression. She finds herself in a situation where unhappy and trapped in a loveless marriage. Not only that but there are kids involved. Despite being miserable she maintains the façade of being somewhat normal but she needs a release to help her get through everyday…resulting in her cutting. She started cutting back in her college days when she met Ryder.
Ryder was the love of her life. Theirs was a relationship worth envying until Ryder was assigned to go to Afghanistan with his best friend Lucas. She was depressed and lonely while he was away and this was when she started cutting. A tragedy occurs in Ryder’s deployment and he flies home. At first their reunion was perfect but as the days went on she finds out that Ryder was even more psychologically traumatized more than he admitted. He starts lashing out at Natalie which lands her in the hospital and her getting a restraining order against him.
That was a difficult time for her, she had to move back home and get committed into a psych ward for treatment. She eventually moved on and meets and marries Eric.
Ten years pass and as her marriage crumbles, Ryder walks back into her life. Could they possibly get over their past and rekindle their love?
The issues I had with this book was because of Natalie. She had been miserable for years not only because she was married to someone she didn’t love anymore, but unhappy that she wasn’t living the life that she wanted. She wanted the life that her husband lived. To be in school or already graduated and not saddled down by her twins. Although she was portrayed as a “good mother”, the comments that she made, the way she always wanted to somehow spend time away from them says otherwise. She was also cutting, that to me is a sign of instability. And there is no way that instability should be around children. To me she was weak, she made me so frustrated! And even if Eric was a douche, I kind of don’t blame him for the infidelity. Obviously they lacked communication. And I think that was their major downfall.
“I never stopped loving you Ryker. Ever. I didn’t even consciously realize it until right this second but…I’ve always loved you.
After getting past that… I thought from there the story was perfect. How she sought treatment after separating from Eric was monumental. Even if it took her months of therapy it swayed the way I felt about her. The way she didn’t jump immediately into a relationship with Ryder was remarkable as well. And of course her going back to school and volunteering was commendable. And then there’s Ryder. I absolutely loved the adult version of him. He was always considerate of her and caring towards her boys. I’m glad that in the end, despite the hardship that they went through they were able to pull it together.
All in all, it was a very good story. As I said my only issue was Natalie. The way the story was told in the beginning was awkward to me but after you get used to the time splitting the story telling was perfect. I commend Ms. Randall for delivering a powerful, sad yet beautiful story.
What I would have changed about this book? I wish that Natalie was more likeable. I also kind of wish that I could read some part of Ryder’s story. Like what he was going through when he himself was seeking therapy and getting over his addiction. I wanted to read what his thoughts were when he thought that Natalie ruined his life and his feelings when they reunited. Could there possible be a book 2?