This is the book that we picked for our Books & Bars for June and for as long as we discussed and looked things up on our phones trying to come up with a perfect book I think I had higher expectations for this. I mean, it wasn't bad and if the ending would have been a bit different I may have just been able to say, yeah great book. But the ending happened and I can't say that. I CAN say that I read this in 2 days and it was a very fast read that sucked me in with the different viewpoints.
What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I'm so sorry-
The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle's suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle - her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family - described a woman who embraced life.
Yet there was so much they didn't know.
With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle's friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives - and the life of a desperate stranger - with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.
After Noelle dies, Emerson and Tara learn many things about their 'best' friend that baffles them. Which the first thing they learn that shocks them was a little hard for me to believe. For 10-12 years, your 'best' friend was able to keep something THAT big a secret. Heck, the other big thing they learned she was able to keep a secret for TWO DECADES?
I guess a central theme and one I struggled with is how do you not know some of these SUPER BIG things about one of your closest friends and is it possible to keep so many thing secret? And when it's all just a little too much then she kills herself with no real note of explanation. I guess while writing all this out I have a few issues, but maybe my issue is just with the character and not really the book.
Noelle and Sam's relationship makes me really wonder how 1) Noelle was able to be such good friends with Tara. 2) Sam could continue being a close friend to Noelle and being married to Tara and Tara not know all the history of Noelle and Sam. I just don't know how you can do that to one of your 'best' friends.
The ending issues I discussed were with how people reacted at the end when secrets were exposed (without giving away the ending, which I had already figured out, early on). I just don't see mothers reacting quite that way in that situation. But, it isn't me and everyone reacts differently, but I just don't see that scene going the way it did.
I do really applaud the writing of the teen girl characters Jenny and Grace. So spot on for teen drama. They reacted to news in a typical teen way. Without too much thought put into it. They go with their gut and their immature brain and emotions are full display. The way Grace tries to get her boyfriend Cleve back is such a low self-esteem teen girl thing to do. Her reaction to Jenny telling her information that Jenny shouldn't share was so typical. Teens thinking adults aren't going to tell them something so they take it into their own hands with not all the info and it can be a deadly mistake. So in that aspect, I really applaud the writing. Even though it did make me want slap them, it was all very realistic.
I would recommend this book, especially if you do like quick easy reads and don't mind multiple perspectives.
Have you read this? What did you think? What would you have done if you were Noelle? If you haven't read this book, have you read any other books by Diane Chamberlain? Would you recommend it?