Falling Down by Eli Easton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second of the books I’ve had on my Kindle for ages which I knew was going to be a tough read because of the subject matter.
However, it’s not quite as bleak as Weight of the World and for a lot of the book, it’s a fairly traditional romance setting. Easton handles the themes of suicide and depression with a gentle touch and the voice of Josh’s mum was a clever way to allow the reader into his thoughts without loads of exposition.
I loved Mrs. Fisher, the elderly lady whose house Mark and Josh were painting, she brought a gentleness to the story and was a well fleshed out secondary character who perhaps, through her own loneliness because of her children living so far away, gained a sort of substitute family with the two men and provided Josh with a grandmotherly unconditional affection he’d not had before.
When the big dramatic moment came, it wasn’t unexpected but it was handled well and I liked that Mark’s family came to help out, dealing with him coming out at the same time, in what I thought was a fairly reasonable way, not quite perfect with enough of an edge to feel realistic.
Josh’s hurt was real, his behaviour true to character, if heartbreakingly sad, and the build up to the ending was well paced with more than one moment which make me catch my breath. I didn’t get as teary with this one as I did with Weight of the World because throughout this book just seemed to have a bit more hope.
Ultimately there is happiness and a sure sense of new beginnings for both Josh and Mark amid the peaceful landscapes of New England.
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Weight of the World by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Achingly beautiful story of loss and hope
I had this book in my TBR pile for weeks because I knew from friends reviews it was going to be a hard read but eventually I picked it up and here we are.
Individually Riley and Devon are two incredibly talented authors but put them together like this and it’s a powerhouse of emotions and superb storytelling.
This isn’t a romance in the traditional sense, but it very much is a book about love and hope, even in the bleakest of times.
It doesn’t mess about in how it deals with the black dog of depression and mental illness and there’s a fair number of harsh moments which could be difficult to read for anyone who’s ever had to get up close and personal with it.
But it does end with an epilogue that offers hope, hope for a better future, hope that the right help can be found and hope that each individual can find the other perfect person with which to make their whole, flawed as they may be.
Read it and weep, but weep for all the joy it also brings, the laughter, the fun, the day to day trivialities, the living of a life.
And the cover, that strength and support it shows, is absolutely perfect.
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Today is my mum’s birthday, she would have been 69, just one year younger than her mum is celebrating in this photo.
My mum didn’t make it, she died in April 2014 just three weeks after being diagnosed with liver cancer at the age of 66. Too young.
Her brother Steven, at the centre back of this photo, died earlier this year. Where once there were six, only four remain.
My mum (second from the left) and her brothers and sisters with their mum on her 70th
“Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.”
–William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing