One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.
Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.
With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.
But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise...and the chance to begin again.
A beautifully written story, filled with drama, life lessons, and deep emotions. It has such a naturally continuing flow that it pulled me right into Nora Stuart's mind and life and held me there until the end. This story is one of those all-nighters, unputdownable until the very end.
I loved Nora and admired her. I looked up to her, though she was inspirational, such a beautiful person, tough, resilient, capable and fierce. But it was a long journey she had to go through to get to this point in her life.
All the adversity Nora has faced during her 35 years of life, and especially in the past year, left me gasping for air. How could one person attract that much drama and trouble? Why did all the people surrounding her turn out to be nasty? Why her own family turned their backs on her?
The story touches different social, criminal, and medical issues abundantly. From eating disorders to mental disabilities to physical attacks against women to attempted rape, murder, stalker, serious life-altering car accidents, bullying, repressing a young girl by the actions of the whole town, including her family, and so forth.
I felt for Nora, there were several times when I was in tears, cheering her on, wishing I could stand up for her and protect her during those brutal high school days.
Her journey to find her true self, to be comfortable with the person she is, to accept herself, and to be proud of the person she is deep inside without any pretention or pleasing anyone else is filled with challenges and diversity, tragedy and disloyalty.
I'm little uncomfortable with the solution to happiness, success, and finding meaningful relationships equaling to losing weight, this is brought up with two characters in the tale. That's one of the points in the story that I am still processing, trying to balance its importance to the characters and their lives.
Reading this book was a very personal experience to me. There are several matters in the story that I noticed I had a very private reaction to, things that Nora went through that echoed in my mind and heart. For me, this book is one of those that after reading it you have that famous book hangover because the events and issues of the story keep playing in your mind. I loved the story yet I struggled with some events in the tale. I connected with the strong heroine on an emotional level. I adored the relationship Nora developed with Sullivan over time, and the honesty, tenderness, and sincerity that was in that relationship that had been missing in the other interactions Nora had with the people surrounding her.
While showing the beauty that is found in the world, from the joy of love, loyalty, peace of mind, and feeling secure with true friends and people who love you, the author shows the other side of the coin as well with the ugliness of jealousy, mobbing, threats, and feeling superior, putting others down to make yourself feel assured. The honest look of the human condition in today's world might not have been what I expected from the novel, but it was clearly drawn with definite lines, both the light and the shadows evident in the tale.
Some books are entertainment, some books are a pure escape. Then there are the ones, like this one, that touch your heart, makes you ponder, and stop for a minute and think a little deeper. Books that give you an a-ha moment, that encourage and inspire you. Reading that kind of book is more of an experience than escape, they can be entertaining yet they leave a mark on your mind. 'If you can be anything, be kind' is echoing in my mind as I think about Now That You Mention It
~ Five Spoons