My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”
WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! This is book is not what I expected – it is SO MUCH MORE. Sarina totally wrecked me with this story and completely obliterated my heart. Three words: RAW, REAL, HEART-WRENCHING.
Jude is a fresh ex-con addict in recovery who just got out of jail for manslaughter. The last thing he wants to do is show his face again in small town Colebury, Vermont where tragedy struck 3 years prior. Jude crashed his car into an apple tree killing his passenger instantly… so the report says… since Jude was high as a kite and can’t remember a damn thing. He was released and had been clean for 6 months. But an ex-con can’t get hired anywhere so he was forced to move home and work in his alcoholic father’s car shop.
Sophie had big dreams but after Jude broke her heart, she moved home from college to take care of her ghost of a mother and an asshole of a father. She is focused on her career of becoming a social worker. The last thing she wants is to face Jude, a boy turned hot man who used to love her with all his being. At 17 she thought that their love was invincible but were devastatingly wrong. What really happened that fateful day? Why did Jude shut her out when she needed him the most? Sophie wants answers and she is going to do what it takes to get them.
This book is beautifully written and the story is multifaceted. First, the love between Jude and Sophie is exquisite and unconditional. They were high school sweethearts – Sophie was Jude’s first in many ways. Even after three years apart it hasn’t faded – on the contrary, it was more intense and deepen. I admire Sophie’s strength and conviction by standing by her man when everyone else casted him aside (except a few people). Jude loves Sophie so much and he wants the best for her even if it means to let her go but Sophie is tenacious and persistent. She is not going to give up on him that easy. Their love for each other is simply beautiful.
Second, this story is about a journey of addiction recovery. Wow, Sarina did her research because everything she described — the cravings, the symptoms, the detox are all real. I am very touched by Jude’s story. I have a little confession to make: I used to work in a very busy metropolitan ICU and there were quite a few “frequent flyer” addicts coming in for detox. More than once I used to think oh, this person fell of the wagon again! The thing is, in the ICU we only help these patients get over the hump and then they are shipped out to rehab. We don’t really get to know them and understand the what/where/how, the stigma and struggle they face every day. This was definitely a wake-up call and an eye opening experience for me after reading this book. I don’t work in the ICU anymore but needless to say the next time I see a patient in this situation you bet I will remember Jude and his journey to stay sober. Sarina, I admire you so much for this heart breakingly gorgeous story that brings forth awareness to this horrible disease. Steadfast absolutely left a profound impact on me and probably for many readers as well.
Third, there is a BIG twist that will knock you on your arse. There is a fair amount of suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat… the unfair treatment, the abuse of power, the corruption and the asswipe person that I despise. But payback and karma is a b**ch. The ending is nothing short of perfection!
I love everything about this gorgeous story – intense, heart-wrenching, real, raw, sexy, sweet, angst, suspense, some LOL parts too. GOT IT ALL! Boy, Sarina’s stories just get me EVERYTIME. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to reading Keepsake which comes out in October.
Be kind to yourself
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