In this evocative and poignant novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Blind Kiss and Wish You Were Here, a young widow in the midst of grieving her late husband through Facebook posts learns to heal and fall in love again.
“See you on the other side.”
Laya Marston’s husband, Cameron, a daredevil enthusiast, always said this before heading off on his next adventure. He was the complete opposite of her, ready and willing to dive off a cliff-face, or parachute across a canyon—and Laya loved him for it. But she was different: pragmatic, regimented, devoted to her career and to supporting Cameron from the sidelines of his death-defying feats.
Opposites attract, right?
But when Cameron dies suddenly and tragically, all the stages of grief go out the window. Laya becomes lost in denial, living in the delusion that Cameron will come back to her. She begins posting on his Facebook page, reminiscing about their life together, and imagining new adventures for the two of them.
Micah Evans, a young and handsome architect at Laya’s father’s firm, is also stuck––paralyzed by the banal details of his career, his friendships, and his love life. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, only that there is someone out there who can bring energy and spirit to the humdrum of his life.
When Micah discovers Laya’s tragic and bizarre Facebook posts, he’s determined to show Laya her life is still worth living. Leaving her anonymous gifts and notes, trying to recreate the sense of adventure she once shared with her late husband, Micah finds a new passion watching Laya come out of the darkness. And Laya finds a new joy in the experiences Micah has created for her.
But for Laya, letting another man in still feels like a betrayal to her late husband. Even though Micah may be everything she could wish for, she wonders if she deserves to find happiness again.
Written with Renée Carlino’s signature “tender and satisfying” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life) prose, this warm and compassionate novel shows us how powerful the courage to love and live again truly is.
This uneven tale about a recent widow and a man just emerging from an existential crisis is full of stops and starts. In the opening chapter, Laya heads to Paris on a "second honeymoon" with her professional stuntman husband, Cameron, only to see him die. Grief-stricken, she leaves her surgery residency in California, holes up in one of her architect father's New York apartment buildings, and obsessively publishes posts to her deceased husband on his Facebook page, despite his family's pleas for her to stop. Meanwhile, Micah, a frustrated architect in her father's firm, spends his time "visualizing my life as some giant novel with no meaning" and growing a beard that makes him look like the Unabomber. He fixates on Laya in a way that his twin sister describes as "stalking." Carlino (Blind Kiss) manages a sympathetic presentation of both protagonists as broken, imperfect people who eventually, after numerous false starts, heal each other; this offsets the lovers' excessive introspection and plot twists that strain credulity. (For example, after Micah and his sister have consecutive car accidents that land them in the same hospital, Laya ends up operating on Micah.) This angst-ridden story may appeal to Carlino's fans, but many readers will find the slow-moving romance tedious.