I'm going to begin this review with a detour, an intentional interruption, if you will. It feels appropriate given the title.
Sara Bareilles is my favorite musician. Her soulful voice and lyrics have inspired my own novels. She could sing the dictionary and I would be enamored with the way that she does so. Certain artists touch an elemental part of your soul that shifts your perspective in supremely meaningful ways.
Authors are artists, too. And Taylor performs that same magic for me while reading her stories. She takes me places and evokes emotions that many other books and authors fail to accomplish. Was this my favorite Taylor Jenkins Reid novel? No. Did I connect with it and its message? Absolutely.
The alternating timeline in this story created an extra element of heartbreak, shifting back and forth between the past and present. To experience the roller coaster of emotions, from exhilarating joy to anguish and despair, was a difficult pill to swallow. But it was real. I've shared it so many times before. Some stories are written to escape reality. Others are written to help us navigate it.
One of the most compelling realizations discovered while reading this novel is the following: Love begins with friendship. To me, the former can't exist without the latter. And this message is conveyed to the reader in so many different ways and across so many varied relationships in this story. Through Ana, George, Susan, and of course, Ben.
The thought-provoking questions posed to the reader help each of us make sense of the world from a fresh perspective while still rooted in our own experiences and perceptions. Forever is such a tricky word. At times, it feels infinite. At others, it's ephemeral. This story helped me frame that dichotomy into an overarching message that remains with me after turning the final page.
Regardless of what interruptions occur along our forever path, it's not what happens to us that matters. It's how we respond to what happens that matters most.
Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️
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