[ 3-day rental ]
Will Olivia's and Caspar’s separate journeys lead them back to one another?
Unable to let go of her hatred for her father, Olivia instead directs her negative feelings toward her husband, Caspar, and insists on a divorce. Caspar thus sets off on a motorcycle journey across America, hoping he can ultimately reconcile with his wife. Olivia returns home to England along with her daughters and finds the life of a single mother challenging. She has hardly anyone to turn to, as the rest of the Crighton family have their own lives to attend to. Just when Olivia thinks all is lost, she is unexpectedly reunited with her father, who wants to make amends with his family. Can she really let this man back into her life? Could doing so heal her marriage?
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©PENNY JORDAN / TAKAKO HASHIMOTO
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- This was a tough one 4
- JAB 04/24/2019
If anyone has read the previous series like "A Perfect family" and "Coming home", then you know the family drama here. I actually spent some time thinking how to write this review because of the deep themes and emotions played into this. Our three main focuses are the heroine who's the daughter of the deserter; she represents hate and all it gives and takes. The second is the cousin (MC for short) who I noted in "A perfect family" to be a bad apple, he represents fear. The last is the grandfather of the household who represents pride. The set time is after the heroine's father's return, which has brought up a lot of issues and raw feelings. For the heroine, it's hard to forgive or think properly with news of seeing the cruel father being a changed man when he was a bad father and husband. All the hate and bitterness builds up till her husband brings up the option of forgiving him. She lashes out at him and separates with taking the girls home. We see throughout the book as she uses hate and bitterness to isolate herself from family, from realizing she was unfair to the husband, and blind to the truth. As she spends time away from the husband, she realizes his love for her is what supported her through all the good and bad times. His presence as well in helping take of the girls, so she could do the job she loved among other things. This also gives her husband a little time to think and seek counsel from a 3rd neutral party on what to do. He decides towards the end of the book to fight for the heroine and his girl. During this time, the heroine sees how her hate and bitterness have kept her from seeing that it wasn't the family who isolated her but herself. It's because she learns of the MC's wife is having a serious medical condition and learns she's not the only one suffering. She also learns the horrible truth that her recent attitude has caused her eldest child to look and act as she did around her parents as a child. We also see her father, the deserter work to make amends and try to support the heroine. It's tough for her because she still holds memories of his neglect. Yet, with the assurance of her brother, she's able to slowly move forward in rebuilding trust with her father as well as slowly forgiving him. She is able to let go of the hate and bitterness and moves forward in her relationship wit the husband. The next individual is the MC and fear. I learned from the book that MC has reformed into a loving husband and father since his recent tumble with death. He's been given the new and burden that his wife is suffering from pregnancy toxima that could kill her and the baby. The reason comes from her high blood pressure from running a household with 3 young kids and a never-satisfied-grandfather-in-law. The options are get blood pressure down or abortion; it causes MC to hold evil thoughts. Thoughts of killing the grandfather and aborting baby to save his wife. He decides to keep quiet as to not scare his wife and be her support. Yet, the wife can see there's something amiss and thinks he's back to his old ways. The wife does recover enough for her to go home but now the MC is plagued by the fear of what he wished and how she'd react if she knew. She finally confronts him on the matter and his fear tell him to lie. From there, he's given two choices of keeping it a secret so she won't know or be honest with her. The MC decides to let go of his fear and tells her the truth. She does think that he hasn't changed but her mother-in-law talks about how worried the MC looked when he wasn't around the wife. The MC finally tells the grandfather that the wife isn't a servant but the MC's 1st priority, can't use the heir card because MC doesn't care, and grandfather has to deal with it. The heroine hears the whole thing and knows the MC loves her. Last is grandfather and his pride. In my perspective of what the grandfather has accomplished is little. He may have upheld the family law firm and built up the family name but his pride has caused him to destroy many of his family member's relationship with him, including his immediate. he calls them out on their flaws but never sees his own. He doesn't prioritize their needs above his because he thinks he's the better. There's so much more and his pride has kept from making things right or at least acknowledging what he has done wrong. His life pitifully ends when he has a heart attack from realizing his loss of control of people plus let downs but still hasn't acknowledged it was by his own hand. However, his death does open up a chance for the whole family to repair bonds separated by the discord he sowed. In the end, his entire fortune and mansion goes to the MC's wife after his two potential (heroine's father and MC) reject the inheritance and everyone agreed that the Wife was the better choice. In the end, the MC's wife gives birth to a healthy boy and the heroine's husband takes her on a ride through the countryside. I really liked how the story went with all the pain and suffering, followed by healing and forgiveness.
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