The title of this book rings true, both inside the context of the story alongside the message it delivers.
More than anything, I am reminded and inspired by the lasting power of the written word in our lives. Whether it is something that has been written today or five decades ago, each word and story reflects the emotions of a moment. I stumble upon this realization after finishing this book and while writing this review, thanks to the events occurring in my daily life during the present day. As my son prepares to graduate from high school this weekend, I look back on all those things I have written over the years, for him and about him, and it brings back a flood of memories and emotions that border on overwhelming. Alas, I digress.
The parallel stories of Clara and Sadie Blackwell across two timelines, and the written words shared between Oliver, Sadie, Clara, and Max serve to reconfirm just how much influence rests inside each written word we pen.
I must be honest and say that this story as a whole felt somewhat predictable, and at certain points it appeared to be too coincidental for my taste. The two main female characters, Clara and Sadie, were so similar to each other that I often found myself forgetting which one had experienced particular events in the story, especially when there were very similar occurrences in each timeline.
With that being said, there is a place where the elements of this story truly shone a light for me. It was at the individual sentence level, inside small thoughts shared innocently and wrapped inside a larger scene. I would read a single sentence and pause, because the words, emotions, and thought-provoking ideas conveyed through each character felt so authentic, as if they were spoken directly to me and my circumstances. There was a connection that occurred between character and reader, and subsequently between author and reader, that defines what I desire most out of being an author myself.
This book may not have been my favorite of the year, but as offered in the opening line, the title rings true. I feel embraced by hope, both between the pages, and long after I turn the final one.
Dave’s Rating: ☕️☕️☕️
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