Thank you St. Martin’s press for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
This is my the fourth book I have read by Tracey Garvis Graves, and sadly, my least favorite. What I loved about her previous novels (fast pacing, a storyline that pulls me in quickly) definitely was not present in this one. While I found the premise of the book intriguing and the characters to be mostly compelling, I had a tough time getting through it. It took me a couple of weeks to read it, something that did not happen to me with any of her previous books.
While I did not dislike most of the story or the characters, I found the storytelling to be poorly paced and clunky. The switching back and forth between past and present day did not fit together as seamlessly as I think Graves is capable of, and I do wonder if maybe the spacing (or lack thereof) in the ebook affected my reading experience. It felt like being tossed around in a teacup rollercoaster ride at times, with no real direction and also giving me the feeling of, “Can this be over already?”
I did find both of the main characters to be likable for the most part, something that is important for me in a novel, so Graves nailed that one. They were realistic, flawed, and human without being unbelievable.
The romance was the slowest burn of anything I’ve ever read by Graves, and while I don’t mind a slow burn, this was…barely an ember at times. I felt like I was reading a story of cousins or something. And not only was the romance itself slow, the entire PLOT of the book was slow. It read more like a family drama than a romance, and while slow pacing isn’t necessarily BAD, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.
All in all, the book had great bones, just lacked something I cannot quite put my finger on. 3/5 stars with the hopes that TGG next book is a better fit for my reading tastes!
Content warnings: divorce, animal death