"What assurance did I have? None at all. It was wedding time."
With Justina Chen's latest novel, Return to Me, I can honestly and excitedly say that I have a new favorite author and top 5 book too!
Return to Me is inspirational, it's raw emotions, and it's powerful! It's more than just reading a book. It's living in the story, being Rebecca!
As Rebecca Muir prepares for Columbia University to begin her life as a fledgling architect, bomb #1 drops. Reb's mom says the one thing that would make any college freshman's toes curl! The whole family is moving with her!
While excited about starting college and getting out from her mother's dictatorship of lists and schedules, she is saddened over having to end her relationship to the love of her life, Jackson. Jackson who gets her. Jackson who loves her and only her. Everyone says she should end it. Her BFFs, her mom, and even herself.
The only person on her side it seems is her dad who tells her that some relationships are worth the fight and maybe this one is too.
However her dad had different reasons for this statement and is the very reason Reb, her brother and mother are uprooted and shaken to the very roots of themselves.
Of course this would happen. Happens to all the women on Rebecca's maternal side of the family. All the woman have "the gift", their men can't handle the second sight and the women are left alone. Become spinsters, are kooks.
Rebecca and her father, Thom, scoffed at the mention of the family curse and Rebecca's dream of building fairy tree houses instead of "functional" corporate offices.
Rebecca fights the visions that wage war with her to not move to the East Coast.
Rebecca didn't listen to her inner self and instead made the move with her family only for bomb #2 to all but destroy her corporate image of a family.
Thom moves out and the family go on an impromptu vacation in Hawaii where they find love of their surroundings, love of family that hasn't been together in decades and love of self.
"Architecture is about touching a lot of different parts of our soul" -- Tom Kundig, architect
Rebecca and Elizabeth both find just what they are made and just what they can do despite the negativeness, despite the roller coaster ride, Thom has put them through. Even, Reid, Reb's brother, will surprise you in the whole situation. I just LOVE the character transformation that has taken place in this book.
I cannot stress enough how much I recommend Return to Me by Justina Chen to anyone trying to find themselves. This book may be fictional but there is real life advise one could follow to find their dreams. Find out who they are and what they want. Just like Rebecca Muir did.
Chen had my emotions all over the place just like the characters! Angry, sad, scared, and even desiring more for myself and Reb! For "Bits" even. I truly love this book! I practically read it in a day and really got a great sense of closure, even if things didn't work out the way you would hope. =]
I know this is a short review and just does not do it justice but I just do not want to give away too much information. I want you to read this beautiful coming-of-age book that could apply to all ages, really.