After the heartbreak of losing their newborn son to a previously undiagnosed genetic condition, Phillip and Anna Lewinsky managed to patch their lives back together and move forward, filling the emptiness with friends, work, and travel.
When Anna unexpectedly finds herself pregnant again at the age of 43, Phillip is thrilled to have a second chance at fatherhood in spite of Anna's objections.
As desires clash, misunderstandings abound, and decisions are irrevocably made, the foundation of their marriage begins to crumble until only tragedy remains.
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My review for this book is ridiculously long overdue. The first time I listened to it, I got a little past three chapters. It was too serious for my taste. I liked to think I matured considerably since then, trouble is I kept thinking myself to be 'mature enough', when I actually never was. What I've now realised is that this is the kind of story that has you aging within a couple of hours. If only I had given this book hours back then, instead of minutes! You're probably wondering what finally gave me the motivation to read this book past chapter three- easy: my kindle is running out of storage space, and so I figured archiving (not deleting) an audio book might help somewhat. That, and I really meant to finish it before 2017!
You'd think that I'd be relieved to have finally completely this book, after having developed an "on again-off again relationship" with it. But, I'm incredibly devastated by its end, a surprising revelation even to me.
So officially, I read it from start to finish on Jan 17th, and finished it on Jan 19th 2017.
This is one of those books that toy with your emotions, breaking you down at parts, and just wishing a story like this didn't sound so real. It's a tragic story, incredibly tragic. We meet Anna, Phillip and Bryan: the best of friends. Anna and Phillip are in a romantic relationship which soon goes on to become a blissful marriage. Blissful, that is, until they decide to have children. Anna has around three miscarriages which shatter her completely, she then tries again for another child. Both Anna and Philip are quickly losing hope, but when they come incredibly close to having a child that survives, they lose him too. Phillip decides to have a Vasectomy, to prevent the chances of Anna falling pregnant again. To prevent her grieving all over again.
Years pass, and Anna finds herself pregnant again. This time, she doesn't want the child. She believes herself to be too old to be a mother. Phillip tries to reassure her. We soon learn that Anna has lost herself to her grief. She is almost unrecognisable to her husband, and her family. Will they survive parenthood?
Major plot twist! Did I mention that Phillip kills Anna? That Phillip is on trial, being held accountable for his actions? Don't worry, this is hardly a spoiler: we learn it two chapters in to the story. I can't believe I put such a brilliant, traumatic, book on hold for such a long time. Though I do think I'm better able to deal with and understand such a deeply upsetting story than I was when I first picked this book up.
This is definitely a book you'd want to read in 2017. Or pick up the audio book as I did, it made the story that much more real and it helped me connect to such a sorrowful tale. It was written so extensively, the tiny details within it, good humour, light hearted moments but most of all I loved the book's unpredictability. I never want to forget this book, it's one of those that, as sad as it was, remains a testament to humanity's fragility, compassion and just plain old love. Keep tissues close, the ending was a tearful one. I'm still in agony.
Favourite characters: first Bryan, then Philip. Then, everyone else. Now, the question of whether this book made it to my favourites, to which I happily (I'm sticking to crying on the inside) declare "Yes, definitely!" To assure you of the certainty of my opinion, note that I am writing this review at 1:12 am (on a school day). Don't judge me until you've read the book.