It is not everyday that you get that perfect love story that makes you smile every time you recall it, but Camryn and Andrew’s beautiful romance is one such modern fairy tale that will never stop making me smile. And theirs was a happy ending that I truly hoped to see more of. In this sequel to the much beloved The Edge of Never, we get to watch our fearless kindred spirits find their place in the world, forge their own path to happiness and never take a single moment of it for granted.
After facing their pasts and finding a common direction in life, Camryn and Andrew are more in love than ever and on their way to becoming parents. Pregnancy is not something they planned or hoped for so soon in their young relationship, but they have embraced it wholeheartedly and adjusted their plans for the future to accommodate their impending parenthood. Nevertheless, as ecstatically happy as they are about it, there is still a small part of them unable to settle down in the one place and accept the monotony and predictability of the life before them. They suppress those doubts, prioritise over them in light of the little bundle of love they have created and cannot wait to meet, but those thoughts are always there, making them secretly wonder whether they have indeed found the bliss they were so desperately seeking.
When tragedy knocks at their door and shatters all their plans, the only thing keeping them afloat is the relentless love and support they so unconditionally give to one another. But while Andrew manages to recover from their loss by accepting life as it comes, for Camryn this is the last painful drop that makes the cup run over, bringing back too many unresolved feelings of pent-up hurt, fear and disillusionment with life. Unable to confront her own pain, she runs away from it, finding solace in numbness.
“You’re the world to me,” I whisper onto her lips. “I hope you never forget that.”
“I’ll never forget… But if I ever do, for whatever reason, I hope you’ll always find a way to remind me.”
Determined to save her from herself and not allow her fear to taint their happiness, Andrew takes their future into his own hands – another road trip, another voyage of self-discovery, but this time hoping to find the life that fits them best in the big world around them. Through a gently paced storyline, we watch them grow stronger individually as well as a couple, their love becoming an unshakeable constant driving them forward. We watch them reconcile their past and their future like pieces in a puzzle, each piece fitting them and only them perfectly, and cherishing every precious one of them.
“We met on the road; we grew to know and to love each other on the road. It’s where we were meant to be for however long, and it’s what we’re going to do until it becomes clear that we were meant to do something else.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this next step in their life journey, it may have not grabbed me as fiercely as the previous one, but it reflected these characters just perfectly. I found the writing style slightly less engaging, partly due to the pace, but also due to a high level of detail in the most random of scenes, but it still made me turn those pages, hungry for more of their story, desperate to see them find their happy ending. Or their own path to it. This is an incredibly emotional tale of learning to live one’s life honestly and by being true to oneself, rather than to what others might expect of us. Happiness is a fleeting and rare gift and Camryn and Andrew find it by never letting life pass them by.
“We truly lived our lives the way we wanted to live them, not the way the world expected us to live.”
Camryn shrieks and I start laughing as we dash away from the cows and toward the car.
“Awww, shiiiit!” I yell when I step in a huge pile of it.
Camryn cackles with laughter and we both practically stumble the rest of the way through the field, me trying to scrape the shit off the bottom of my shoe while running at the same time and Camryn’s flip-flops getting caught on the ground trying to keep up with her feet.
“I can’t believe that just happened!” Camryn laughs as we finally make it back to the car. She arches her body over forward and props her hands on her knees, trying to catch her breath.
I’m out of breath, too, but I still relentlessly scrape the bottom of my shoe on the asphalt. “Dammit!” I say, rubbing my foot back and forth.
Camryn jumps up on the hood of the car, letting her legs hang over the front. “Can we finally say that we did it?” she asks with laughter in her voice.
I stand still finally and catch my breath. I look at her, at how beautiful and bright that smile of hers is and I say, “Yeah, babe, I think we can safely mark it off our list.”
“Good!” she says.
Then she points behind me. “Do it on the grass,” she says with one side of her mouth pinched into a hard line. “You’re just spreading it around doing it like that.”
I hop over into the grass and start rubbing my foot back and forth again. “Since when did you become an expert on shit?”
“Better watch your mouth,” she warns, getting into the driver’s seat.
“What are you going to do?” I taunt her.
She starts the Chevelle and revs the engine a few times pressing on the gas. There’s a cruel gleam in her eyes. She props her left arm across the top of the open window and next thing I know she’s driving slowly past me.
I give her the warning eye, but her grin just gets bigger.
“I know you won’t leave me here!” I shout as she goes past me.
Surely she wouldn’t….
She gets farther away and at first I call her bluff and just stand here, watching her get smaller and smaller…
Finally, I take off running after the car.
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Oh, I both can’t wait and dread this one. I think The Edge of Never was the last book to REALLY make me cry. I don’t know if I’m ready for all the feels! lol