What a touching novel about embracing life. If you want a book to cuddle up, one that will work its way into your heart and leave you inspired, this is the novel for you.
I need to comment on the love between Katya and Sasha. I believe that these two have been living with some type of stress during their whole relationship. When they left Kiev and settled into America, I felt that they had to have known that they might be harboring some harmful effects of the disaster that had just occurred. No one really knew at that point what the future held for the victims of that disaster. Starting over in America, Katya would soon give birth to Yuri, a son who would be born with a rare heart defect.
The feelings that Sasha had to have felt as Yuri was diagnosed with this rare disease. Then, as the years passed and Yuri missed out on being a typical child, it had to be hard as a parent, to see their child not interacting with other children because of his disease. I felt overwhelmed for this couple as it seemed there was a dark cloud over them yet, you could see and feel the love between Sasha and Katya. They supported one another and looked out for each other. There could have been negative feelings/comments or a child who was angry but instead there was love.
When Maggie was brought into the picture, she questions exactly what she can do for Yuri. When asked to home-tutor him, Maggie sees him at face value. It isn’t until she connects with him, that she really sees what’s inside him and realizes that there is a little boy in there just waiting to come out. Maggie wants Yuri to have as much as a life as his disease will allow him to.
Meanwhile, Maggie is doing some growing on her own. Maggie is finding excitement in her work as she’s working with her students and Yuri. Incorporating new ideas and talking with others, Maggie is energized in finding ways to help her students be successful even though sometimes they might not always work. As she shares these ideas with her boyfriend, she finds that he is not always “there” for her. She had thought that moving in with her boyfriend would be the next step in their relationship but now, she has realized that he’s comfortable and content with life the way it is, while she is not.
There are many little lessons to take away from this novel which have to do with life. I was afraid that the ending was going to be sad but it ended on a positive note. It took me a while to get into this novel but once I got into it, I really enjoyed it.
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.