Once in a while you will read a book that does not fit into a mould, that does not follow a formula or try to romanticise life. A book that does not hide the ugly reality of the choices or the mistakes me make along the way. A book that portrays human nature as it is, gritty and real, and shows that sometimes it takes losing everything to truly see the value of what was in front of you all along.
Krissy Mullins is a young woman who spends her days emotionally ‘skimming’ on the surface of life, focusing on her career as a high profile publicist, a job that makes her miserable, but never truly stopping and taking stock of what her life has regrettably become. Even with the love of a man who absolutely adores her and would do anything to make her happy, Krissy is unable to let him in and let herself love him completely. She hides behind the demands of her job, tailoring her choices in life so that she would never have to face her emotional misgivings, including giving up on the one thing that could have made her happy in the long run.
“It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I wanted to love you forever. I wanted you to quit your job, move in with me, have babies and take vacations to Disney World. I wanted you to want that life.”
Her dysfunctional and loveless relationship with her mother being her only point of reference in life when it comes to family, Krissy finds it easier to connect with a man who behaves in a similar fashion to her mother than with someone who offers her what she has never experienced in life before – unconditional love. Her self-sabotaging tendencies eventually lead her down a road she travelled once before, but instead of learning from her mistakes, she chooses to repeat them, knowing all too well this could hurt her again. When the life she has chosen turns to be exactly as expected, instead of demanding more, Krissy lowers her standards, and stays in a relationship that only feeds her insecurities.
This is a book about what family teaches us about life, trust, love, and how much what we learn from our own parents can form the way we shape any future relationships. It offers a very untraditional version of a happy ending, free from all the glam and glitter that we often find in romance books. In essence, this is not a romance book but it is a book about romance. It shows the enduring power of true love and how misguiding our own heart can sometimes be.
“It’s funny how your heart can deceive you. Follow your heart, people say but they never tell you that sometimes it makes the wrong choice.”
Everyone will take something different with them from reading this beautiful book. It will appeal to people in so many different ways – you might find a little bit of yourself in Krissy, you might recognise someone close to you in her, or her choices in life might be those you always feared you’d make. Regardless of what she represents to you, I assure you that her story will move you and that you will find yourself travelling her journey with her, living through her mistakes, feeling her pain, anger, heartbreak, and eventually her realisation of what her heart knew all along.
Nikki Young’s writing is honest, touching, authentic. A splendid debut novel by an author whose sensitivity and realness shine through in her every word.
“You’re my most wonderful downfall.”