Author: Sarah Jio
Published by: Ballantine Books on Feb. 7, 2017
Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction
Format: eBook, ARC
Source: Penguin Random House, NetGalley
Book Rating: 7.5/10
A gripping novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember, from the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March
Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.
When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.
Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.
Captivating, thought-provoking, and deeply moving!
Always is a poignant novel that delves into the emotional, physical and mental anguish suffered by those inflicted with brain trauma and touches on the hardships, prejudices and struggles experienced by those who find themselves homeless.
The prose is polished and precise. The characters are consumed, troubled and genuine. And the story which contains a subtle element of mystery is written in a back and forth, past/present style that gives a wonderful appreciation and depth to all the situations, personalities and relationships within it.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel about friendship, loss, jealousy, compassion, life and enduring love, but I have to say I still prefer Jio’s historical fiction novels, particularly “The Bungalow” which is still one of my all-time favourites.
This novel is due to be published on February 7, 2017.
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Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House – Ballantine for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.