by Jessica Park
I have to confess I read Left Drowning almost two months ago. It has taken me this long to write my review because I literally did not have the words to describe my feelings when I finished. There was no doubt in my mind that Jessica Park deserved a 5 star plus rating for her extraordinary work. But, what could I say to adequately explain how this book affected me? So, like those expensive handmade chocolates I occasionally stop and buy then hide because they are too delicious to share, I kept Left Drowning to myself. The hiding and not sharing was a poor choice on my part. I deeply apologize for my errant ways. I am now sharing my thoughts because I know Left Drowning needs to be read often and by as many people as possible.
The subject matter of this book is not light and airy; it is heavy and has unimaginable depths. This book explores what happens to people when they are so broken and damaged by life experiences that they all they can do is cope. Day to day living is key to survival for these individuals. This is the state in which readers first meet Blythe McGuire. She is surviving, but a at sub-level that even she questions. One chance meeting with the dramatic and instantly loveable Sabin Shepard, and Blythe senses light begin to penetrate her dark world. One more chance meeting with Christopher Shepard, Sabin’s sexy, self-assured brother, and Blythe’s reality shifts into supernova.
One by one Blythe meets the Shepard siblings including the twins, Estelle and Eric.
Each sibling with their unique personality helps to show Blythe what the true definitions of family and living are. The eclectic Shepard family adopts Blythe and helps her to mend the broken vessel that she is. Chris, in particular, reignites the fire of feeling in Blythe despite her attempts to tamp that fire down. Their love story is a sensual and steamy bomb that threatens to explode at any given moment.
Left Drowning is layers of emotional complexity covered with generous layer of forgiveness and hope. Jessica Park has written a story that challenged me to think and feel as I read my way through it. The emotions I experienced included, anger, angst, compassion, despair, hope, humor, love, and raw passion. Each of these emotions existed at different levels. Left Drowning was not a book that I could finish in a night. I did not want to put it down, but I simply had to. At points I just had to stop and absorb what I was experiencing. Only after a break was I able to go back and continue my journey with Blythe and the Shepard family. When I finished Left Drowning, I truly missed the time I spent with these complex and colorful characters. Somewhere along my journey with them they had stealthily taken up residence in my heart.
Jessica Park has written another book that is as entertaining as it is profound. I am still in awe of how she deftly she balances the fine line between amusement and tragedy. She lets us experience and understand the deepest parts of the human psyche, giving us hope that even the most broken of us can be repaired. Ms. Park shows us that often times the random introduction of people into our lives is providential and quite necessary to help us progress as the complete persons we are meant to be.
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