4 out of 5
In fifteen-year-old author Rachel Coker’s young adult debut, young Allie Everly’s life is changed forever by the illness and death of her beloved mother and subsequent adoption by an older woman in Maine. Bitter and feeling unloved, Allie rejects her new mother and her new mother’s faith and throws herself into her poetry, until Sam Carroll, her best friend from the past, arrives. With Sam comes a host of confusing emotions, and Allie finds she must overcome her past in order to find forgiveness.
This is a young adult book that is aimed at 15-18 year olds – I’m 25 and loved it!
It was so sad when Allie’s Mum dies especially as it leaves Allie so alone in the world. The book is set around World War 2. It’s referred to more in the second “half” than in the first and even then the war isn’t really happening in a way – it’s kind of over there in the distance rather than here and happening to us. I think the time it becomes a bit more real is when Allie and her friend’s discuss the Normandy landings in 1945 and whether the husband/boyfriends of the girls will return safely.
The story kicks off in Tennessee where Allie lives with her mother. Her mum has what’s referred to as “the sickness” – I don’t think it’s ever actually given a name but the way her memory lapses and she gets confused and agitated made me think of Alzheimers.
Some of the language was a bit modern for the time it was set but ultimately it didn’t matter the story was awesome all the same.
Although Allie is quite mean to Sam for a chunk of the story. You can tell that his love never stops for her and he wants to help her through losing her Mum even if Allie thinks shutting the world out is a better option. I love the way that Beatrice and Irene adopt her like she’s always been part of the family, even when Allie doesn’t want their love and care it’s still there working it’s way into her live.
I found this – it’s the book trailer for Rachel’s book – it’s so exciting! (Almost makes me want there to be a film version of it?!)