I have to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Today, I have a wonderful book to share with you. Take this Regret hasn't been on my reading list for very long, but I'm so long it didn't sit there unread. I truly loved it.
Summary (from Goodreads)
Paperback, 2nd, 289 pages
Published April 5th 2012
by Sapphire Star Publishing
Christian Davison has a plan for his life. He is determined to become an attorney and to one day take his place as partner in his father’s law firm. Nothing will stand in his way, not even Elizabeth Ayers and their unborn child.
After Christian cuts her from his life, Elizabeth spends the next five years struggling to provide for her daughter and willing to sacrifice anything to give her child a safe, comfortable life.
For five years, Christian has regretted the day he walked away from his family and will do anything to win them back just as Elizabeth will do anything to protect her daughter from the certain heartache she believes Christian will bring upon them.
When Christian wrestles his way into their lives, Elizabeth is faced with asking herself if it is possible to forgive someone when they’ve committed the unforgiveable and if it is possible to find a love after it has been buried in years of hate. Or are there some wounds that go so deep they can never heal?
They say everyone deserves a second chance.
Tragic Beginnings, Fairy Tale Endings ~ A.L. Jackson
It's hard to know where to begin. This isn't your typical romance novel. It falls more into the realm of realistic fiction, but the love story is so palpable, so binding, so beautiful and full of mistakes and regrets that one cannot help but feel that this romance at it's best.
When I first started reading it, I thought the writing sounded distant and cold. And when Christian asked Elizabeth to abort their unborn child, to chose between him and this new precious life, I almost put the book down. I had no desire to read about a man who would be so callous. But I kept reading because even as Christian was saying these horrible, unthinkable things to Elizabeth, who he loved so much, I knew he didn't mean it. It doesn't excuse what he did, but it kept me reading. And I'm so glad I did. From this cold, detached sounding prologue, the narration switches to the first person voices of Christian and Elizabeth. And while it might be difficult to keep track of two different first person narrations, in this novel, it was not at all. It was powerful. It allowed us to see how horribly Elizabeth had been hurt, how deep that pain and betrayal went, her anger and distrust of Christian when he just walks back into her life desperate to see his daughter. And how deeply in love with Christian she still was. And while we see this from Elizabeth, every bit of it expected and justified because of what Christian did to her by leaving, we also get to know Christian.
You might not want to like Christian. What he did, was a horrible betrayal. It was cruel and selfish, and almost cost Elizabeth the life of their unborn child. Most people might say his actions are unforgiveable. But I was never angry at Christian. I never condoned or excused what he did, but I understood it was done in a most of selfish, childish anger, and I saw how much he regretted it. The instant the words left his mouth, he regretted it. Leaving Elizabeth and his child defines him as the worst sort of man, but he is someone else entirely. He lives with regret and guilt about what he did to them, a man tormented by the moment that he threw away the best gift of his life, the woman that he still loves, Elizabeth. The knowledge that he has a child somewhere in the world that he does not know, keeps him awake at night. And when he does find them again, and falls so desperately in love with his child, and takes the time to ease into Elizabeth's life so that he can spend time with his daughter, and become part of the family he so wants but ruined, I couldn't help but think that it was unfair that a single moment of his life should have so defined him, branded him as unforgivable. And I wanted what he wanted, for Elizabeth to love him again. Because, in truth, she had never stopped loving him.
The novel is full of complicated events that allow us to see deeply into these characters, to understand them. It's not a depressing read, nor is it a light one. But it is one that makes you ache for what these characters go through, and consider just what trust is. I was moved enough to cry in spots, and although this book was definately engaging enough, and flowed so beautifully that I could have read it in one sitting, I'm glad I didn't. For me, having to wait to find out what was going to happen next, made the story richer.
I hope I haven't spoiled too much...I tried to write in generalities, but there's so much that happens, and it's so honest and raw, that it was really hard not to. What I do know is, this book is going on my favourite shelves and that it has been a while since a novel has devastated me in quite this way.
5 glittering stars.