Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review: In This Moment

If you haven't read Karma Brown's books before you are missing out on some seriously good stories. In This Moment is her latest and it is a powerful read and oh so good. But, just a warning, it'll probably rip your heart out. 

Here's the synopsis:
Bestselling author Karma Brown is back with a morally infused and emotionally riveting exploration of one woman's guilt over an unexpected—yet avoidable—tragedy.
Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she's able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes.
After school pickup one day, she stops her car to wave a teenage boy across the street…just as another car comes hurtling down the road and slams into him.
Meg can't help but blame herself for her role in this horrific disaster. Full of remorse, she throws herself into helping the boy's family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more Meg tries to absolve herself, the more she alienates her own family—and the more she finds herself being drawn to the boy's father, Andrew.
Soon Meg's picture-perfect life is unravelling before her eyes. As the painful secrets she's been burying bubble dangerously close to the surface, she will have to decide: Can she forgive herself, or will she risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart?
I know people are going to say Meg isn't the most likeable character. (Which I didn't know they'd say about Tegan, the main character in Brown's first book, Come Away With Me. I loved the book and really liked Tegan. Turns out I'm one of the few who do and many in my book club weren't a fan, as we learned when Karma came to our club a few months ago.) But, I don't think that should matter. Are you always likeable? Are your friends? No. No one is. No one is perfect and you don't really want to only read books where the characters are always good and perfect and likeable.

Meg is a good person. She's just carrying around a lot of baggage that she hasn't dealt with appropriately. She's tucked everything away and In This Moment is where it all comes spilling (exploding, really) out. At the start of the novel we've caught Meg on the second worst day of her entire life. It took a really long time to finally find out what happened on the worst day of her life. There were hints but the full story didn't come out for awhile (almost too long but not quite). As an outsider, it's so easy to see what could have gone differently had Meg only shared the full extent of her past with her husband (or, you know, anyone). But, you can also see why Meg made the decisions she did. Most of them, anyway.

Many studies have shown that fiction readers are more empathetic and I kept thinking about that as I read this book. I was so twisted up while reading In This Moment. I felt for pretty much every character we meet in this novel (except Andrew's wife, whose name is escaping me, she was under a great deal of stress, of course, but it was really hard to see her side of things...I guess I was Team Meg...). There's a lot of really heavy stuff happening in this novel and that's why I think you'll feel your heart breaking time and time again. It's a good thing because it means Brown has written a story that you can't help but be sucked into completely. It hurts like hell but you'll be better for it when you're done.

And speaking of being done, I absolutely flew through this book and had it finished in two days. I just didn't want to put it down!

I was really happy with Karma Brown's latest book and I think you will be too. In This Moment is such a great read and one that will keep you thinking well after you're done. Lots of "what ifs" and wondering what you would do yourself in certain situations. I'm already waiting for her next novel!

*An egalley of this novel was provided by the publisher, Park Row Books/Harlequin, via NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own.*

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