*****5 AMAZING, HEARTWARMING, GUT WRENCHING, ROMANTIC AND EMOTIONAL STARS!!!
“A mother’s not supposed to bury her daughter.” ~ I couldn’t agree more.
“Death is nothing to fear?” ~ Grace
“Death is just the moment that your hourglass runs out of sand. That’s it. It happens to everyone eventually. All any of us gets to decide is where the sand falls.” ~ Grace
“I remember reading somewhere that you have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. But I don’t think it’s true. I think you have to learn to forget yourself before you can love someone else. At least I seem to forget about myself when I’m with you.” ~ Jane
Before I delve into my review, I want to thank Ryan Winfield for writing such a wonderful story. I did not intentionally go looking for this book. Before this book, I didn’t even know who Ryan Winfield was. Thanks to the social network which all know by name of Facebook, I stumbled upon this book. The older woman/younger man storyline spiked my interest but honestly, it was a review I read on Amazon saying it’s Fifty Shades for mature reader that convinced me. It definitely did not disappoint. But in no way Fifty Shades and this book has any similarities, besides the older woman and younger man part. This book affected me tremendously. In my culture, no one’s supposed to bury anyone younger than them. This happened to my family. We had to cremate my mother when she passed away from breast cancer at 59 years old after battling it for 7 years. My dad was devastated. In my culture, my dad being older than my mom couldn’t even see them haul the coffin to the cremation ceremony or watch her cremate. He had to say his final goodbye at the funeral service. My heart broke into millions of pieces when I saw my dad cry and my dad never cries.
I absolutely understood how Jane felt. She didn’t just bury anyone, she buried her only 20 year old daughter. Sigh…she has so much to look forward to being just 20 and she chose to abuse what she was given, LIFE. Not trying to be a heartless bitch but I really don’t sympathize people who chose the path Melody picked. Before you judge me, I do however sympathize with Jane. She offered help and Melody refuse to stay clean and sober. Jane did not deserve to suffer. She did not deserve to morn and she definitely did not deserve to think that she caused her daughter’s death.
I have to honestly say this is an unconventional but yet beautiful and emotional love story about a grieving 40 year old mother, Jane. She lost her 20 year old daughter Melody to drugs and alcohol. Jane was devastated. With tremendous regrets, she feels she needed to find out about Melody’s last days, she needed closure. She went in search of anyone connected to Melody in any way to give her some insights of the last year of her life. This book is about grief and love. Follow Jane through her journey dealing with the grief she needs to learn to let go and truly find her happiness in love with all the insecurities she has about herself.
The story begins the day after Melody’s funeral. It’s on this wet and don’t know what to expect kind of day that Jane’s life is going to change. This is the day she saw a stranger we will come to know as Caleb visiting Melody’s grave. But before she could approach him, he was gone. With a mind filled with curiosity, she desperately wants to know how is he connected to her daughter’s life. She set off on a mission to find him. She accidentally ran into him outside Devil’s Cup where Melody worked but she let him walk away. But when she found out that Caleb might be Melody’s boyfriend, she’s determined to find him again. Her undeterred determination did not end up in vain, she found him all battered up pretty badly sleeping on a bench in a park. After Jane found out he’s homeless and she needed some connection to someone who knew her daughter, she took him back to her home.
Caleb is a 24 years old struggling gifted musician that writes his own songs with hopes of furthering his music career. He has his eyes set on Austin’s best music scene with plenty of musicians, labels, industry scouts and studios. A place with enough gigs for a guy to make a real living. Determined not to let him slip away again too soon this time around, she offer to help him get there. Since Caleb clearly stated he’s not a charity case she offered him paid work as her gardener. She put him to work in her monstrosity of a blackberry bramble, Scotch Broom and weeds infested backyard. In order to keep him close, she offered room and board. Smart lady I say!! You go girl!!
Days passed as they spend more time together, Jane can’t deny that she’s attracted to Caleb. She suppressed all these feeling when she felt it’s wrong since he was once Melody’s boyfriend and besides, he’s so young even though he’s an old soul in a young body. Little does she knows that Caleb feels the same about her too.
“Did you like her?”
“I liked her.”
“We’re you attracted to her?”
“I’m attracted to you.”
“Everything I liked about her, I love in you.”
“Love is this feeling I get when I look at you. A feeling that as long as you’re near me, or in the world even, the everything will be okay. ….Then I hear your voice, I saw your face, and somehow the color came into everything.”~ Caleb
“Okay. I don’t know if I have the right words, but love is this feeling I get when I look at you. A feeling that as long as you’re near me, or in the world even, then everything will be okay. That everything has meaning. It’s as if the world was all shades of sepia—like an old movie reel—and that everywhere I looked I saw suffering and pain. Then I heard your voice, I saw your face, and somehow the color came into everything.” ~ Caleb
Jane has a very good and close friend Grace so happened to be her Al-Anon sponsor as well. I absolutely adore her. She’s always been there for her. She was her rock. Like all story, nothing ever sail smoothly. Jane was hit was a devastating news that will affect her forever.
“You know what ‘fine’ stands for, don’t you?” When Jane didn’t respond, Grace answered for her. “It stands for Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.” ~ Grace
“It would be wrong, wouldn’t it?”
“You have to decide that, dear.”
“Some people are just off limits.”
“That’s true if you believe it.”
“I don’t know if you’re being smart or not, but I know that being smart doesn’t always lead to being happy. And I’d rather be happy than anything else” ~ Grace
“Don’t you let fear have a place in your life, J. Not even a tiny place. Get rid of it from every hidden corner. Chase it away with the truth, and do what you want to do while you can.” ~ Grace
“Promise me you’ll live the life I can’t.” ~ Grace
“Just do whatever you would do if you weren’t afraid. Live the way I would have lived if I’d known. Live the life that I no longer can, Jane. A life without fear.” ~ Grace
Spark soon ignite between Jane and Caleb but Jane can’t help struggling with her self confidence and about her age and did she really deserve the love Caleb is showering her with? Come on this emotional and gut wrenching journey with Jane and Caleb to see if odds are with them or against them. I promise you that you will not regret reading this book.
This unconventional but yet beautiful and heart warming story touched my heart in so many ways. Is the love between Caleb and Jane right or wrong? This is an individual point of view. For me, I don’t think so. I’ve come too far in life to give a flying fuck whether people think it’s right or wrong. Like Grace said “I don’t know if you’re being smart or not, but I know that being smart doesn’t always lead to being happy. And I’d rather be happy than anything else” And I rather be happy!
What boundaries would you cross for love? Is there really a boundary when it comes to love? What are they anyway? Boundaries, what are they? Our society, that’s what the boundaries are. The restrictions and judgement made by our society, our people. Frankly speaking, in the society we live in, no way in hell that a lot older woman dating a younger man will ever be accepted. But an older man dating a lot younger girl is okay though. It’s not fair, I know but it’s just how it is, we can’t deny that. You know why I know and I absolutely agree? Because it happened to me. My relationship with a younger man did not have a happy ending. At the beginning of our relationship, like Jane, I have my insecurities and the age gap but he kept saying age is but a number. But in the end, he said having me in his life has taken him to the highest emotional relationship with all the pleasures disregarding consequences and judgement from others. But all of this comes at a price. In the end, our love was not enough, he chose his family and I don’t blame him. I really don’t, I just wished he was born 15 years earlier.
I still want to thank Ryan for writing this book. It gives us hope that someday love will be enough to conquer all. It gives us hope that someday our society might change their point of view. Thank you, for giving us hope. –Lady