amazing read but you will need tissues!
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Imagine meeting your best friend for coffee and telling her something that happened ten years before, something that could possibly cost you her friendship. Because, at it's most basic, that's what this is : two old friends, best friends, meeting for coffee and Ava has to tell Paige something that happened ten years ago, when they were estranged, something that she NEEDS to say, but knows that Paige might not, hell, she WON'T like it, but she needs to know. At it's most complex?? It's the story of a woman who falls in love with an abusive partner and her fight to get out and away from that partner. The abuse is not physical, it's emotional, it's mental, it is total in it's destruction of Ava of old. It is total in cutting Ava off from everything and everyone she knows. It reduces her to a woman who, while maybe at the back of her mind knows that what is happening to her is not right, this marriage is not how it should be, she cannot be anything else but his wife. She knows no one will want her, because James tells her so. But Ava finds a friend at work who is not letting her wallow, is not letting go, and Jacob helps Ava. And Ava has been dreaming about Jacob, which is what prompted this coffee shop meeting, and it all coming tumbling out of Ava. It is beautifully written, painful reading though. While not told in great detail, there is some reference to Ava's abuse, to what James did, what he made her do. I had to keep putting it down, it made me cry in many places. It's not very long, but because I had to keep putting it down, it took me all day to read the 67 pages here. But so beautifully written! Cutting extremely close to home on two fronts. Because someone close to me went through what Ava did, but her abuse was physical, as well as mental. I watched her cutting us off, one by one, those closest to her first, and then spreading out, just as his tentacles spread out. And there was nothing we could do to stop it. We tried, oh Lord we tried, but she was in love. We had to wait til she came to the same conclusion, and wait for her to act on her own. She did. It just took a bit of time. And because I know Ava, because I AM Paige. Finding out a wonderful day spent in amazing company last October was the inspiration for this book made me cry. Made me feel incredibly proud to be part of this book, made me feel incredibly proud of Ms Sheppard. I cannot express, not really, how much this book affected me. But you should know that... IT IS AMAZING! 5 full and shiny stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**