If I hadn't fallen asleep.
If I hadn't gotten behind the wheel.
If I hadn't made a mistake.
For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart--leaving her empty and broken. There's a hole in her heart that nothing can fill. That no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her grandma isn't going to change that...
Nathan Everets knows heartache firsthand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it's all his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn't deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn't going to change that...
There's No Going Back
Captivating and hopeful, this achingly poignant novel brings together two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt--looking for acceptance, so they can find forgiveness.
The summary gives you a pretty good indication of what this book is about. Both Nate and Monroe have suffered some pretty big tragedies. Both feel responsible for making some pretty bad mistakes that caused those tragedies. Both are just trying to make it day by day, both are trying to not drown in their own guilt and grief, both are trying to find a way back to being human again. Which is where we find them when the story starts. Monroe has moved in with the Grandma for the summer (in hopes that a change of scenery will help her) and Nate is working on her Grandma's plantation as part of his community service. Once Nate and Monroe meet they pretty quickly latch onto each other as fellow sufferers. Together they work through their pain and guilt and forge a relationship that helps them find a path out the other sidde. I particularly like how Monroe's Grandma words it- that when you fall so far and are trapped in your own pain, you need someone to catch you. Monroe and Nate need eachother to break their respective falls.
Sonce this book is fairly new, I'll avoid spoilers and just say that neither Nate or Monroe is perfect. They pack a ton of baggage and their relationship vacilates wildly from love to hate and back again. I wish the author had delved deeper into these moments as both characters seemed to heal to quickly. They both are suffering some serious demons, but move on with relative ease once they find each other and it seemed to me to be too easy, too quick. I wasn't looking for a sad, tortured story, but to make it that much more believable I would have liked to see that struggle a little more. Especially with Monroe. We hear about how she was in a dark place, didn't speak at all, barely showered or burshed her hair and that a suicide attempt had occcured not too long ago... but all it took was a cute boy with a tortured soul and suddenly she came bacck to life. Which isn't to say that it can't happen that way, that a sympathetic ear and a kind word from someone who doesn't know your past can't spark a change, but, for me, it just happened too fast and too easily. I felt like there should have been some conflict there. The same with Nate.
However- even given that, I really enjoyed this book. The story clicked along and I liked how the author shifter perspectives, so we got a complete sense of each character even as they were just opening up to each other. I would definitely recommend this book if you like mysteries and also romance. It was a quick read that definitely kept me hooked and I'm glad I have it in my collection. I think it's one I'll revisit down the road as I think it's one of those books that will reveal a little more on subsequent reading.