One day at a time….
The story on the face of it, is so simple. Jess Connors, mother to Maddie and Jilly, separated from her musician husband Clay, has an accident with brain trauma and is in coma. Clay, a recovering alcoholic, nearly two years sober, has to rush home to his family. His girls need him. And then it’s a total uphill for him, staying in hope that Jess will get up, winning over his daughters, who have not seen him in two years and maintaining his sobriety in such moments of stress.
Such a story has been told before, but here, the story is told from Clay’s point of view, by the author Deanna Lynn Sletten. It is a refreshing change. Every interaction that Clay has with his daughters is so poignant. His absence for two years from his daughters’ life has hurt them badly and they find it difficult to trust him.
Deanna has written every dialogue between father and daughter with so much care, that each one breaks and heals the heart at the same time. Jilly accepts her dad’s presence and loves easily, while Maddie distrusts him totally and stays a distance away. The contrast between the girls’ reactions to their dad is beautiful yet saddening.
There is a conversation between the girls and their dad, that is one of Deanna’s best in this book. When Maddie declares angrily that she hates her dad, Clay asks his younger one Jilly, why doesn’t she hate him. Her answer broke my heart too
I don’t remember you enough to hate you
Deanna brings home the fact that fathers are so important. Each little girl looks up to her dad, he is her first hero. Two years ago, Clay had gone to rehab and was successful in kicking his alcohol addiction yet couldn’t find the courage to come back to his family. But he stands in front of his daughters explaining his less than perfect earlier ways, his mistakes and his willingness to do anything to win them all back. I liked the honesty the author brings in all her characters.
Deanna also shows romance between Clay and Jess, as Clay travels down memory lane remembering the good times and bad times, his meeting her, his first kiss, their marriage, their kids’ birth, his beer habit, his rehab and Jess standing by him through all this till her ultimatum. Yet it’s love that holds them together always for better or for worse even when Jess is in coma and decisions have to be made to shift her to long term facility.
Deanna brings home the fact that life sometimes is difficult and problems seem overwhelming then just taking one day at a time, taking small steps, is all we can do, both in dealing with life or in dealing with an addiction.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher, Lake Union Publishing and this is my honest and unbiased opinion
My rating : 5 stars
About the Author
Author Deanna Lynn Sletten believes in fate, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, and happily ever after. When she initially started writing women’s fiction and romance, she decided to self-publish her first three novels. Since then, she has published twelve books–including Finding Libbie, her second book with Lake Union Publishing. She lives in a small town in northern Minnesota and is married with two grown children. When she’s not writing, she enjoys relaxing in a boat on the lake and walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian shepherd
The words “I’m her husband” roll off Clay Connors’s tongue, but with his estranged wife lying in a coma—and no assurance that she’ll awaken—he knows he’s perilously close to losing everything. A singular, terrifying accident has left Jess Connors suspended between life and death. Now Clay is reunited with the family he hasn’t seen for two years, including the daughters he left behind.
Clay should have been there for his family. He never should have stayed away so long. The alcohol that took over his life destroyed everything but a shred of his self-preservation. Sober and haunted, Clay revisits the memory of love, marriage, and how his life unraveled. He hopes that by trying to reconnect with the daughter who blames him and the daughter who barely knew him, he can find a light of hope in this darkest hour. As his family faces its most grueling, emotional test yet, Clay must summon the courage to make right what was wrong—and find forgiveness from his harshest judge: himself.
Publication date : 20th June 2017
Publisher : Lake Union Publishing
Available on Amazon, free with Kindle Unlimited
Fathers and daughters read