Decide to Hope
by June Converse
An unimaginable trauma. A future that seems impossible. When your world shatters, how do you put it back together?
For 950 days, Kathleen Conners has struggled with that choice. Behind a scarf and sunglasses, she hides from the world, from herself, from The Event, from any future with anyone.
After receiving a box of letters from his deceased mother, Matt Nelson is shoved from his predictable, controlled life to a secluded beach in North Carolina. While trying to understand his mother’s intent, he discovers Kathleen.
Matt must choose whether to follow the path his mother orchestrated or rescue the woman who has captured his heart. When the only person Kathleen blames more than herself reappears, can Matt be the strength Kathleen needs to create a new life, or will he be forced to walk away if she decides the climb is too great?
5 +++ STARS
Let me begin by saying this is probably one of the most gut-wrenching, emotional books I have ever read! When I read books like these, I have to wait a bit and process before writing a review. It was imperative that I do this for the main character, Kathleen. Once you read the book, you will understand why. The author used this quote at the very beginning of the book:
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness. ~Desmond TuTu
That single quote sums up exactly what this book is about! It’s part magical romance, but mostly it’s about hope! Kathleen has survived something not many people could. In fact, most would not want to survive it. Somehow, she survives. She doesn’t live; she just exists. She has very few people she interacts with, and one woman played an important role in the road to her healing which is our second main character, Matt’s, mother. She met Kathleen before, and she knew that Kathleen would be Matt’s and Matt would be Kathleen’s. This remarkable woman would find a way to accomplish that after she left this earth in the form of letters to her son and Kathleen.
Matt comes to the sea at his mother’s request. She knew like Kathleen that Matt doesn’t really engage in life either. He has spent his entire life working hard and never really enjoying it. All that will change once he meets Kathleen. The journey these two will take will by no means be an easy one.
Kathleen hides among the living and spends her nights in sheer fear…not physical fear but mental which could eventually end her. She tries to keep her memories locked away, but her family makes visits to her from beyond the grave. I think those visits are the emotional crux of the book. They are so vivid, really engaging all the reader’s senses which completely draw you into Kathleen’s tortured world. I wanted to hold her in my arms and make all her pain disappear. It was so incredibly emotional. Matt truly is her hero. He never pushes her, and he is always there to catch her. The love he has for her is truly magical.
Again, this book is something rare and special. It’s a journey through grief, fear, darkness, and finally leads to a shimmer of light at the end of that dark tunnel. There is a twist at the end I wasn’t expecting. It doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, but there is more to Matt and Kathleen’s story. I cannot wait to read it!!!