Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn’t shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie’s heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.
*Galley provided by publisher for honest review*
When the only parent you have left leaves you, the one you love so dear, the one that holds all your memories, what is there left to hold onto?
Allie Everly is a character who grows stronger and stronger in my eyes and Rachel Coker gives her breathtaking debut novel a outstandingly remarkable and memerable character to watch grow over the years from the cracks of heartbreak and bloom in the hands of a mother she never wanted, a mother who took her in as her own after the one Allie loved passed away. The historical significance of World War Two really does bring the lifestyle and setting of this novel into light and makes the characters seem timeless within their words. This was another novel that I was able to finish in a day because I was truly and wholeheartedly captivated by the voice of beautiful Allie Everly and the worlds she was taken from and placed into.
— “I tried to smile back. Now, don’t get me wrong. Sam Carroll wasn’t a creep or a bully or anything. It’s just that he was… well, he was Sam Carroll, for goodness’ sake. I’d only known him for forever and he’d only followed me around for even longer.” —
Relations between Allie and Sam Carroll happened to be my favorite part of the whole novel. They are just so lovely and the honesty between the two. They’re best friends, they have the love that I always hope to see with young adult novels. There’s just too much insta-love, or new-girl/popular boy love, or underminded-hidden-potential/super-hot-unobtainable-boy love. Basically everything but the pure and underrated best friend bond that grows up towards the sun. Because of that, I believe this novel grew on me more that I ever thought it would. That trinket that Ms. Coker sprinkles between Allie and Sam, that hinkering tug of the heart strings, the unrequitted and the oblivious love interests that have me swooning and wishing for Allie to get her head out of the Dickenson book and into the eyes that that sweet, caring, beautiful boy called your best friend and me careening over the cliffs screaming “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY LOVE THAT BOY!” has me love their story.
The message of this story truly is a beautiful one, of growing up, love, loss, finding oneself when the one you thought made you whole left you for good. Definitely give this book the benefit of the doubt and pick it up when you get the chance. You won’t regret it.
First Line: I stared at the ceiling in silence.