Monday, June 6, 2016

Only Ever You

Only Ever You is an incredibly engrossing, yet keenly harrowing book, totally unputdownable. I started it with all the best intentions of doing the responsible thing; read for a while and then get to bed in order to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the start of the work week, but all that went out the window once I read the first couple chapters. In its pages, author Rebecca Drake delivers an emotional roller coaster of a novel that eloquently speaks to a parent’s worst nightmare, the abduction of a child.

From the publisher: “Jill Lassiter’s three-year-old daughter disappears from a playground only to return after 40 frantic minutes, but her mother’s relief is short-lived–there’s a tiny puncture mark on Sophia’s arm. When doctors can find no trace of drugs in her system, Jill accepts she’ll never know what happened, but at least her child is safe. Except Sophia isn’t. Someone is watching the Lassiter home in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb, infiltrating the family’s personal and professional lives…Three months after the incident at the park, Sophia disappears again, but this time Jill and David become the focus of police and media scrutiny and suspicion. Facing every parent’s worst nightmare a second time, Jill discovers that someone doesn’t just want Sophia for her own, she wants to destroy the entire family.”

Only Ever You makes for appointment reading at its best. The type of book which you can’t start and put down so budget some time in your day. The bond between mother (parent) and child is one of unbreakable strength, enduring tenderness, of limitless and unconditional love, transcending time and distance; so when that connection is threatened or broken, the pain is as immeasurable as is that love's beauty. Ugh, this book is heart-wrenching, heart-pounding, and in our protagonist’s fear, loss, grief and love, her every word palpably heartbreaking.

Told through the dual points of view of Jill and an unknown antagonist whose sinister presence inspires real fear with her mere presence on the page, the author skillfully builds the tension by incrementally raising the stakes in this mother’s race against time and the unknown to save her child, marriage and future. In addition to a great plot filled with twists and turns, as well as well-placed clues and foreshadowing, the author has delivered a great female protagonist with whom the reader feels emotionally invested; both fragile and haunted by previous loss, her love proves her strength and ultimate salvation. In her unrelenting and desperate search for the truth and her child, whose absence is a physical ache, Jill proves that “a mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”

Only Ever You keeps you on the edge of your seat for an adrenaline-fueled, gripping read filled with white-knuckle suspense that will leave you holding your kids (if you have them) a little tighter. Whether or not a parent though, the novel’s message of love and loss is one which applies to everyone, and serves as a simple reminder to hold those we hold dear a little closer each and every day.