Sunday, March 14, 2021

Review: Everything After by Jill Santopolo

Title: Everything After
Author: Jill Santopolo
Published: March 2021, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

The Light We Lost mixes with a touch of Daisy Jones and the Six in this novel of first love, passion, and the power of choice--and how we cannot escape the people we are meant to be.

Two loves. Two choices. One chance to follow her dreams.

Emily has come a long way since she lost her two passions fifteen years ago: music, and Rob. She's a psychologist at NYU who helps troubled college students like the one she once was. Together with her caring doctor husband, Ezra, she has a beautiful life. They're happy. They hope to start a family. But when a tragic event in Emily's present too closely echoes her past, and parts of her story that she'd hoped never to share come to light, her perfect life is suddenly upturned. Then Emily hears a song on the radio about the woman who got away. The melody and voice are hauntingly familiar. Could it be? As Emily's past passions come roaring back into her life, she'll find herself asking: Who is she meant to be? Who is she meant to love?

My thoughts: I recently read Jill Santopolo's earlier books in anticipation of this new release. She is definitely an author that knows how to take you on an emotional journey and then some.

As much as I loved the other two books, I have to say that I definitely connected more to this one. I think partly it's because I myself have endured some of what Emily goes through in this book and I could relate to her in numerous ways. I, too struggled with infertility and suffered miscarriages, and felt that this was so real and relatable in the way it was written. And, I also could see a bit of myself and my husband in the way we both handled things in the aftermath. We each have our own coping mechanisms and they aren't always what the other needs and I think that Jill Santopolo does such a good job of showcasing that.

I loved the way this story is told, in third person and then the occasional journal entries from Emily's past. It totally captivated me right from the start and you feel her pouring her heart out, yet you can see her struggling with the choices she has made, constantly questioning herself. How many times do we ask ourselves the age-old question, "What if?" 

This book takes you on an emotional roller coaster through Emily's present and past. When the two collide, she has some tough decisions to make. I found myself completely engaged in this book, unable to put it down despite the fact that I often had tears in my eyes. This one got me, but in all the best ways. I highly recommend picking this one won't be sorry!


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