How do you define yourself when others have already decided who you are?
Six years ago, when Camden Daniels came back from war without his younger brother, no one in the small town of Alba, Colorado, would forgive him—especially his father. He left, swearing never to return.
But a desperate message from his father brings it all back. The betrayal. The pain. And the need to go home again.
But home is where the one person he still loves is waiting. Willow. The one woman he can never have. Because there are secrets buried in Alba that are best left in the dark.
If only he could tell his heart to stay locked away when she whispers she’s always loved him, and always will…
Great and Precious Things is a heart-wrenching story about family, betrayal, and ultimately how far we're willing to go on behalf of those who need us most.
Yarros (The Last Letter) successfully weaves an emotionally fraught story of a veteran's reluctant homecoming and his reunion with the woman who has always held his heart. Camden Daniels blames himself for the death of his younger brother Sully while both were deployed in Afghanistan. Upon his return home to Alba, Colo., he discovers everyone else blames him for the death, too, and he leaves town after Sully's funeral. Six years later, Cam ventures back to help his brother Xander care for their father, who has Alzheimer's. Upon arrival, Cam is reunited with Willow Bradley, the only woman he has ever loved. But Willow was Sully's girlfriend, and Cam is convinced he will never be worthy of her. But as they work together on a project for the historical society, Cam and Willow confront their shared past and uncover secrets in Cam's family that drastically change their relationship. The pathos of Cam's story is heavy-handed, but Willow's self-confidence and compassion, along with Yarros's frank confrontation of the realities of war and memory loss, ground this story in emotion and keep the tone from growing maudlin. With sharp characterization and slow-building revelations, Yarros crafts a moving story that's sure to please romance fans.
Great and Precious Things
This was a touching, heartfelt story. I adored the characters, the plot and the writing. There were times when my emotions were all over the place.
Camden Daniels left Alba, CO a decade ago for the military. He was the middle son. The one who was ALWAYS getting into trouble. He was in love with Willow, the neighbor's daughter, but she was his younger brother's (Sullivan) girlfriend. Camden became a Green Beret. Sullivan though idolize Camden and joined the military also. Four years later, Camden would bring Sully's body back to Alba. Camden is full of grief not only for the death of Sully but because he gave an order unknowingly that took Sully's life. If only he had chosen a different group then Sully would have been safe. Camden's father also blamed him for the younger Daniels' death. Camden leaves Alba determined never to return.
Camden is called back to Alba by his father. Returning after six years after Sully's death, is hard and Camden is not looking forward to it. The elder Daniels has early-on-set alzheimer's disease. He wants a DNR but the oldest son has power of attorney and refuses. Upon Camden's return, he sees Willow almost immediately. The rest of the journey for Camden and Willow to their HEA is one that was an exceptional read.
I loved having the story written in a dual POV format. Getting into the minds of both Camden and Willow really allowed me to fully understand what they were going through. In this case, Camden was really suffering and seeing his internal conflict was really necessary to understand his decisions.
This is a wonderful story. There is a scene that may offend some but the sexy scene was well written and highly glossed over. That being said though, I can only recommend this story for anyone over the age of 18.
Rebecca Yarros has become one of the authors that are auto-buys for me. I have to be honest and say I just discovered her writing with The Last Letter; that one book has made her a favorite author.
Great and Precious Things is another reason why I love her writing. I shared my feelings/quotes from the book as I was reading because I had to be able to go back and pinpoint the specific quotes that I wanted to remember/bring to light.
As GaPT was told from both Camden and Willow's views, whenever I got to Camden's viewpoint, my heart wanted to burst. He endured and took on so much: Savior, protector, son, brother, bad boy, friend. His character was so strong and he was determined in every aspect of his life; there were so many times I wanted to reach through the pages and just hug him and tell him "You are enough". Willow was his and would always be and honestly always ways. This was their story of self-discovery and redemption.
I wish I could give this 10 stars because this book has earned them and more.
I went into this book knowing it was going to be an emotional journey but I think I really underestimated how much.
This book has a lot of angst and the ultimate slow burn really contributed to that. The story wanted to tell you that Willow is really strong but she needed a lot of saving. The story wanted to tell you that Cam was a bad boy but never really brought the receipts.
I enjoyed this book even though there were some things I couldn't quite get over. I didn't want to put it down but I really wish there had been an epilogue at the end. I don't know if an epilogue being missing means we'll visit this small town again but I hope there's some closure for these characters in the future.