This five-star, page-flying book felt very much like a soul-deep, sister-love letter to Ms. Vogt’s own sisters, which enhanced the emotional aspect of this story for me. Surprisingly, I only teared up a couple of times in this maiden read. I have a feeling that will change in future readings. This is an amazing and deeply emotional story.
One thing I really enjoyed about it was how the mood reminded me of one of my favorite movies: Collateral Beauty. Both that movie and this book feature journeys toward accepting the realities of loss and grief. That’s a journey that’s crucial to our existence, because nothing lasts forever here on Earth.
The pace of this story was super fast. I flew through over 400 pages in only three days. Three days, y’all! That’s pretty epic for me and that many pages. The content of the story — all the ups and downs, drama, misunderstandings, love, passion, and heart of the Thatcher sisters’ lives — wasn’t always easy to read about, but the toughness of this story is handled with such exquisite grace and redemption and humor that I couldn’t help but become completely immersed in the story world Ms. Vogt had created. Of course, her characters helped out a lot, because they were very realistic and, quite frankly, studies in human nature. I admire how Ms. Vogt was able to craft such true-to-life perspectives and draw out the inner thoughts that make familial relationships so tricky to navigate.
Another thing that well impressed me was how Ms. Vogt chose to use two third-person POVs as well as one first-person POV. Typically, this is not something I enjoy; either do them all in third or first, but definitely pick one. However, the author voice was so unique and well established, easily threading in Ms. Vogt’s trademark sense of humor, that I found myself quickly falling in love with this style of writing. I’m not saying I’ll love every book with a variety of POV styles in it, but this one was definitely a winner for me.
The perspective of a non-Christian POV character in a Christian book is something that’s incredibly difficult to pull off well. This one was executed perfectly, with off-the-page sins, layers of conviction (of those sins), and the drawing of the soul toward God and Christianity. The characters were raw, real, and not always pretty. But the way they felt and expressed things not only showed where they were emotionally, but also where they were heading spiritually. It was a beautifully written journey that I am eager to reread as soon as my pre-ordered hardback copy comes in.
Right now, this book is tied with Wish You Were Here as my favorite Beth Vogt book. It has the potential to boot WYWH out of that top spot, but I need to read them back-to-back in order to tell for certain which one I like best. Either way it turns out, they’re both fabulous books that I love and will be rereading multiple times over the years.
Added bonus to this story: Volleyball! I love playing and watching volleyball, and having it featured in an epic book was amazing and brought delight to my sports-loving heart.
This is my favorite book of 2018 so far, and I fully believe it deserves to be an award-winning best-seller.
* pre-marital sex
(All of these things were handled with care and grace.)
This giveaway has closed. The winner will be announced on Monday, May 21.