DescriptionFrom award-winning author Laura Trentham comes an emotionally layered novel about redemption, second chances and discovering that life is worth fighting for.
At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams of being a songwriter up in flames. To make matters worse, a series of bad decisions and even crappier luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to use music to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when the one thing that brought her joy has failed her.
When Greer meets fifteen-year-old Ally Martinez, her plans to stay detached and do as little as possible get thrown away. New to town and dealing with the death of her father in action, she hides her emotions behind a mask of bitterness and sarcasm, but Greer is able to see past it and recognizes pieces of who she once was in Ally. The raw and obvious talent she possesses could take her to the top and Greer vows to make sure life’s negativities don’t derail Ally’s potential.
After Greer is assigned a veteran to help, she’s not surprised Emmett Lawson, the town’s golden boy, followed his family’s legacy. What leaves her shocked is the shell of a man who believes he doesn’t deserve anyone’s help. A breakthrough with Ally reminds Greer that no one is worth giving up on. So she shows up one day with his old guitar, and meets Emmett’s rage head on with her stubbornness. When a situation with Ally becomes dire, the two of them must become a team to save her—and along the way they might just save themselves too. AMAZON LINK
Loved, Loved this story. Let me count the ways!
First off, my mouth dropped with the opening words of the first chapter. I liked how we saw how the community service judgement was brought about. If you want details about that, that first chapter should clue you in pretty good. Even in that serious situation, there will be some humor too. In fact, this author did a pretty good job of blending serious issues, humor and sarcasm. I liked the flow of the story a lot. I was pretty much engaged with the story throughout. It's now on my "Keeper" list.
I like stories with great, interesting main characters and this story had it. Greer had a way of approaching life that not everyone appreciated but she is definitely unique. She would also describe herself as lost at this part of her life. That probably helps her connect with others that people have not been able to connect with. She may have a kind heart but she also is not afraid to kick-butt when needed. And I found her sarcasm off the charts funny! If often disarms people around her. They are surprised and often finds themselves laughing almost against their will. One of the best descriptions of Greer was when she was thinking about how she was probably being taken off Emmett's case. She thought of just letting sleeping dogs lie. " Trouble was, she was prone to crossing lines and waking up dogs."
Emmett had some serious issues and nightmares that were written in a way that was pretty real to understand. He just wants to drink and waste away to forget everything! Oh, he won't commit suicide but isolation and the self-neglect is definitely there. Isolation and self-neglect that Greer ruthlessly interrupts. Don't think that Greer is totally fearless though because she does know she is in over her head. She just keeps putting one foot in front of the other and does the best she can. The same thing with Ally, one of the girls in her community service project. Both Ally and Emmett are tough nuts to crack but they do keep things interesting.
Both sets of parents (Greer and Emmett's) are worried for their children. Even if they are adults, they want to help and add a lot to the story. Not all of it helpful at first, because they just don't know what to do.
I liked how there was a twist towards the end of the book. Man, I should have seen that coming after all the books I've read. But I didn't and I like that the author surprised me!
The Epilogue is even a better addition to the story with just a few surprises as well. But the H.E.A. is not a surprise but it is very welcome.
I'm not sure if I have read any other books by this author. But after reading this book I will be on the look-out for others.
“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”