Narrator: Olivia Song
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on August 2, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 11 hours, 11 minutes
Audio | Goodreads
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
Lily Bloom was raised in an abusive household so she’s witnessed first hand what an abuser looks like. And, she never understood why her mother didn’t leave her father. Lily’s story begins on the day of her father’s funeral. She’s back in Boston, where she moved to put some distance from her hometown in Maine following her graduation from college, and has a chance meeting with Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon with an allergy to relationships. While there was a mutual attraction, both knew their goals were polar opposites and went their separate ways until a bizarre set of events reconnected them.
First, I consider this a contemporary fiction with romantic elements. It’s a compelling look at domestic abuse from a unique perspective of a character who you’d think would know better. We often ask the question, “why wouldn’t she just leave?” or some variation of that. Whether you agree or not with the points of view presented, the story does provide key insights as to why that decision may not be as easy a solution for the women involved.
I liked how Lily’s relationship with her first teenage love, Atlas Corrigan, was shared in retrospect through her reading of her journals. It was cleverly done and added an interesting element in how it was delivered. Her relationship with him helped provide definition to her character as well as provide a contrast to her subsequent one with Ryle.
The author’s post script gives important context for the story so I would encourage everyone to read/listen to her comments. I listened to the story and thought the narrator did a good job in distinguishing the characters and gave a solid performance. I liked this story, a lot, because I saw people I know personally in Lily and it’s helped me better understand an issue I thought was less gray than actuality.
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