Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Review: Always by Sarah Jio

From the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March comes a gripping, poignant novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart's capacity to remember.

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle's chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can't believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt "right." But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she's willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love. 

Kindle Edition, 240 pages
Expected publication: February 7th 2017 by Ballantine Books
Genre: Romance/Fiction/Womens Fiction/Contemporary

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, Thank you!**

It's no secret that I am a fan of Sarah Jio's work and that I have read all of her novels. When the opportunity to read Always came along, there was no doubt that I would jump at the chance. I won't detail the plot because the synopsis does a good job of describing what the book is about.

What I have always been a fan of in Jio's writing is her ability to weave past and present to tell a story that captures and tugs at the heart strings. As usual, she managed to do just that in Always. She created two different men, one from the past and one from the present, that were both easy to like which aided in myself as the reader having a conflicted heart just like Kailey. I liked them both and struggled right along with her as she tried to come to terms with everything. I felt every emotion and could easily empathise with Kailey's predicament. What would I do in her position? How would I react? This is what Jio is good at and what keeps me coming back for more.

Admittedly, I preferred some of her other work over this one but it's not to say that I didn't like it. Always was just a little fluffier and predictable than the others. There were a couple gaps and unanswered questions that prevented me from loving it as much as I wanted to. However, I was still able to get lost in it and finish it quickly.

Picking up one of Sarah Jio's novels for me is like curling up in your favourite chair with your favourite blanket beside a soaring fire on a cold winters day. They are warm, cosy and they make you feel good. Always still managed to give me those feeling even though it wasn't my favourite of her books. I eagerly look forward to whatever she comes out with next.

About the Author

Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, THE LOOK OF LOVE--all from Penguin (Plume), and ALWAYS, forthcoming on February 7, 2017 from Random House (Ballantine). Sarah is also a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, and many others. She has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. Her novels are translated into more than 25 languages. Sarah lives in Seattle with her three young boys.  

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