Monday, February 21, 2022

Book Review: Unforgettable

By Sara Steven

There are first loves and there are last loves. But what happens when they overlap?

Tom Blythe falls in love quickly. He fell for Olivia the first time they met. The same thing happens when he meets Grace. The problem is: Tom is still in love with Olivia.

Pulled in two different directions, Tom has a choice to make. He knows he’s unhappy, but is that enough for him to forget the vows he made? Both women have difficult pasts and Tom is desperate to help them, but at what cost?

Can he let Olivia go and commit his future to Grace? Or will the pull of the past prove too strong? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Tom and Olivia’s love story reminded me of the classic college sweethearts experience, where two people who have known each other for several years and were young during their initial courtship and relationship, grow older and can in turn, grow apart. After children and jobs and responsibilities, life doesn’t feel like it once did, and Tom finds himself within a crossroads. As the synopsis indicates, he is still very much in love with Olivia–she’s been all he’s known for so long. Yet, after meeting Grace, he develops feelings for her, too, and it’s a difficult situation, considering he’s never believed that a person can love more than one person at the same time. 

What I appreciated about Unforgettable was the honest portrayal of a changed marriage. Tom isn’t written to be a villain; instead, he’s written to be a man who respects his wife and family, and will do whatever he can to maintain that, even if it means potentially living an unhappy life. That’s where the reader begins to struggle–is it wrong for Tom to love Grace, too? Doesn’t he deserve happiness, too? I went back and forth on what was best for Tom and who Tom should be with, if he should try harder to have a better relationship with his wife, or maybe they’d come to a point where it wouldn’t be possible. I felt just as confused and unsettled as Tom does! 

The only thing I think I would have wanted to gain a better understanding of, would be how Tom is able to spend so much time with Grace, with very little show from Olivia. Tom and Grace embark on an extracurricular activity that keeps him from home many nights/evenings, and I kept thinking, “Where is Olivia during all of this?” I’d imagine if my spouse were gone most nights, I’d probably question that, at some point. We find out later why that is, but it might have been more helpful to introduce that earlier in the story, so Tom’s time with Grace would feel more realistic. Other than that, though, I enjoyed the smooth emotional wave that takes Tom through two different timeframes, back and forth, from Olivia to Grace, until it all melds together, leading to Tom’s eventual need to make a decision that is based on matters of the heart, for all involved. 

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

A former teacher, Ruth Loten’s first writing memory is for her writer’s badge in Brownies but her MA in Creative Writing probably trumps that. One of the founders and editors of the digital literary and visual arts magazine, Makarelle, she has been published in various anthologies and is usually found in her study, mainlining coffee and frantically pinning editorial notes onto a noticeboard. In November 2019, Ruth was appointed Writer In Residence at Brightlingsea Lido. Although she has written a number of books for children and teenagers, this is Ruth’s debut novel for adults.

Visit R.E. Loten online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Giveaway to win a signed paperback copy or a kindle version of Unforgettable (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within seven days, then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  We are not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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Giveaway ends February 23rd.

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1 comment:

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good story.