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What Remains Paperback – 24 Feb 2016
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This tale feels very British - low-key, but with depth, very well done, very real and full of feelings. The tale pretty much mirrors the blurb, but what that doesn't convey is the warmth in it and the various kinds of love in it. I loved seeing Jodi and Rupert meet and fall in love, loved Rupert's venture into what being with another guy might entail and seeing his innocence, his shyness and how he found himself with Jodi. I loved how their love and their relationship made Rupert blossom and made them both so happy, and that the pace was right, Rupert's caution was right, and their coming together was so emotional for them both. I loved that Jodi and Sophie's friendship lasted beyond the end of their relationship, with a deeper love between them, and how Sophie ended up being such a good friend to Rupert, too, when Jodi needed all the help he could get, and how she became an honorary aunt to Rupert's little girl, Indie. I loved seeing Jodi with Indie both before and after his accident - the love you show a child can't be faked and the real Jodi shone through here, I thought. I loved seeing Rupert's love for Jodi holding so strong, in sickness and in health, even when there was very little light to be seen. I loved how selfless he was, and seeing Jodi fall for him all over again, without Rupert putting any kind of pressure on him. I loved seeing how honest Sophie was about her changed feelings once the 'old' Jodi appeared, and how she put his and Rupert's happiness first. People could learn a lot about simple common human decency in this book; it humbled me.
This tale is more loving and healing that hot and sexy - this isn't a criticism in any way, shape or form. GL has written an intelligent, moving and 'real' tale where the sex is integral to it, not an added extra/to sell it, which I appreciate. The strength lies in the very worthy, very real and very likable characters, and I hope that GL considers writing a follow-up to this, to let readers see how these guys' future pans out. I don't think it'll be all roses, as Jodi's condition is serious, but I do believe that they'll make it. I felt for them, I hoped for them and was rooting for them, especially with the unpleasant ex in the background as a threat.
This is another 5* Keeper of a read.
ARC courtesy of Riptide Publishing and Divine Magazine for my reading pleasure.
What a beautiful love story Garrett has given us. I couldn't put it down I needed to know how Rupert and Jodie's story developed. My emotions were on a seesaw with this book but all the ups and downs only intensified my love for the book because it reflects real life.
It really pulled on my heart but in a nice way because the story overflows with hope and deep love.
First of all I loved this story because it is set in Tottenham, where I live. It is not always that I get to experience a story set in Tottenham. Although it doesn't really have a strong sense of being in Tottenham, just the name, it is still good. (Come on you Spurs - football song for Tottenham supporters)
And then the two main characters were just so beautiful together before disaster struck, changing their live irreversibly.
And this irreversible change came to life as the words conveyed the realistic waiting, hoping and nursing a loved one back to health. The struggle and strain came across really powerfully and it reminded me of my Dad's ill health and the long struggles of my mother and family to bring him back to health. In the end he never fully recovered and my mother and all of us had to live with irreversible change.
Thankfully this story is much more hopeful but still very real and the struggles and stresses are sensitively and beautifully portrayed.
I loved the many echoes of my own life which I discovered in this book. Jodi ends up in Kings Hospital which is a hellava trek from Tottenham but when my son was injured and had a knee operation he was admitted to Kings and I ended up doing the same trek as both Jodi and Rupert.
Of course I loved this. It really resonated with me, especially as I remembered the long tube and bus journeys.
The story has great rhythm and pace. The first part gives us the back story by switching between the past and the present. Sometimes flashbacks can make for disruptive reading, but it works well in this story, providing an excellent build up to the present day.
As the story unfolds we get to experience the injuries and difficulties from both Jodi's and Rupert's perspective and this tugs on the heart because there is this huge and terrifying darkness between the person Jodi was and the person he now is. Even though I knew the story had a happy ending it was really hard to see the way through. I wondered how the couple would get back to who and what they had been together, and whether they would discover 'what remains'?
But what I like best is the power and depth of love the couple have for each other which just makes the story such a beautiful one.
Garret Leigh does this in so many of her stories. She just manages to bring the passion and power of love into very difficult and real life situations, and although the stories are sometimes heart wrenching they not unnecessarily angsty, and always take us through a journey of hope.
Copy provided by Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
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