I suppose I could begin this review by saying wow. It would certainly be an apt description. This book did wow me. It was not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting something darker, with characters more broken. And this isn't a sweet romance--but there was a sweetness to it that I was not expecting, and in the end the best word to describe this novel is beautiful.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
After the attacks of September 11th, Ambrose and his friends decided to serve their country. This decision affects the entire town in ways that are totally unexpected, and propels Ambrose and Fern into a romance that is sweet and tender, and a journey that allows them both to grow. They were already both beautiful. But by the end, they understood things about humanity, about life and goodness and beauty that just amazed me. I cried throughout this book. The suffering that's endured with such dignity was awing and humbling. These aren't characters that cry and scream at the world. Or rebel and act out and do destructive things. They accept the heartache, mourn, and learn. And to me, that's pretty amazing. This is book that ought be read over and over because it's thoughtful and touching and as the reader changes, so will the messages in this book. I think they'll become more powerful each time you read this wonderful novel.
Expect to cry. Expect some ugly moments. But know that this book really is beautiful reading.