Genre: Contemporary Women

In This Moment by Karma Brown

Posted August 22, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments


In This Moment by Karma BrownIn This Moment by Karma Brown
Published by Harlequin on June 1st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women, Family Life, General, Literary
Pages: 400
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

With one wave of a hand, everything changes.

Meg is picking up her daughter Audrey from school, just like any other weekday afternoon. She sees her daughter’s friend Jack waiting to cross the road, so she stops and signals to him that it’s okay to cross. As the teen makes his way to the next curb, he is struck by an inattentive driver in the next lane. Meg knows that the teen would be okay if she hadn’t allowed him to cross in front of her. Consumed by guilt, she dedicates herself to helping Jack’s family at the expense of her own family.

Maybe we’re not the different after all, the two of us—I understand the need to keep a handle on things, to exude the image you desperately want people to see because the real one is scary and unpredictable and might take over if you give it a chance.

Meg’s life begins to fall apart. She can barely keep it together and makes huge mistakes in both her personal and professional life. After years of putting up a perfect front, she begins questioning her parenting skills and her marriage. She and her husband can’t seem to get on the same page and her well-behaved teenage daughter becomes moody and secretive. To make matters worse, Jack’s accident brings up unresolved guilt about an accident she was involved in when she was sixteen-years-old.

“If you can’t trust the ones you love, life will always feel harder than it needs to be.”

I didn’t feel Meg’s guilt as strongly as I felt her personal struggles. My favorite parts were the minor interactions between family members. I even liked the teenager in this book! Meg sees Audrey repeating her past mistakes and there’s a point when Meg realizes that her parents encountered many of the same problems that she’s going through. There’s so much she doesn’t know, but she doesn’t have to be alone in her struggles. I loved this sweet moment when she reaches out to her father:

“When does it get easier?”
“Being a parent, you mean?”
I nod and Dad laughs. “It never gets easier. Just gets less hard.”
I scowl. “Isn’t that the same thing?”
“No,” he says, giving me a wink. “Talk to me in another, oh, five years. You’ll understand better then.”
“I hope we all make it until then,” I say, giving him a wry smile. He bends down to kiss my cheek, and then we go back to the washing and drying, other of us silent with our own thoughts.

This was the first book I read after a long reading drought in the spring and it was exactly the type of book I needed: linear narrative, single character POV, and relatable drama/family dynamics. The thing that made me a little less enthusiastic about it is that Meg is very clear about what she’s feeling and she psychoanalyzes herself. There wasn’t much that I had to figure out for myself. To be fair, that was also what made it a good book for breaking a reading rut! I also felt like the story was happening before my eyes, so it was jarring when Meg referenced her future feelings. But overall, it was a solid story and the characters felt like real people. I liked how the author gave me just enough of an ending to satisfy me, but not so much of one that it felt too tidy. There was something comforting about this author’s style, so I’d be eager to read another one of her books.

“Fixing this is going to be twice as hard as breaking it, but this is as good a place as any to start.”

Despite our best intentions, sometimes we make mistakes. Those mistakes can result in terrible consequences. Sometimes we can never fix what we broke. Being thrown into unfamiliar territory builds new understandings between the characters. Meg learns that we’re all fighting the same battle. She sees firsthand how grief and guilt can cloud judgment and prevent a person from seeing past the present moment. In order to heal, she has to realize that it’s okay to forgive herself and others. She may have to learn to live with the “low hum of guilt,” but it doesn’t have to consume her.

 


A relevant quote from the movie version of Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls: “Most of us just get messily ever after… and that’s all right.”

three-stars

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Posted July 10, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Final Girls by Riley Sager

We were, for whatever reason, the lucky ones who survived when no one else had. Pretty girls covered in blood. As such, we were each in turn treated like something rare and exotic. A beautiful bird that spreads its bright wings only once a decade. Or that flower that stinks like rotting meat whenever it […]

Almost Missed You by Jessica Stawser

Posted April 12, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Almost Missed You by Jessica Stawser

Violet has a good life. Her husband Finn and three-old-son Bear are her entire world. While on a family vacation in Florida, Finn offers to take Bear back to the hotel room for a nap so that Violet can get some much-needed relaxation on the beach. Even when she’s alone, all she can think about […]

The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

Posted March 20, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

In Washington D.C., beautiful young attorney Evelyn Carney goes missing. She ran out of a restaurant after an argument with her husband and seemed to disappear into thin air soon after. Virginia Knightly, an executive producer at a news station, notices the city’s Criminal Investigations Division latched on to the case immediately, even though there’s […]

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Posted March 6, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 2 Comments
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

I was clueless about this book’s subject, so my eyes just about popped out of my head when a character blurts out the scandalous family secret! The Roanoke Girls is exactly the type of twisted tale that I’d sneak into my library book stack when I was a teenager, so it triggered a nostalgic feeling in […]

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

Posted February 3, 2017 by Taryn in Reviews / 2 Comments
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

How silly it is to assume that what we’re dealing with is not something that will, in turn, deal with us. Sharon and Mel met while attending the same art program in college and have worked together ever since. Ten years later, their careers have taken off with Nashville Combat, an animated feature based on […]

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Posted December 18, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Kindred by Octavia Butler

Without any warning, Dana Franklin is thrust back through time and space. It’s 1976 and she’s settling into her new California apartment when she starts to feel dizzy. Her modern surroundings fade away and suddenly she’s in antebellum Maryland. She seems to be inextricably linked with Rufus Weylin, the young son of a plantation owner. […]

Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia

Posted December 5, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia

Eighteen-year-old Hattie Hoffmann has big dreams of leaving her rural Minnesota town for New York City and becoming a professional actress. Hours after her well-received performance as Lady Macbeth in a high school play, she goes missing. The next day her body is found in an abandoned barn. It turns out that her acting was […]

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Posted October 26, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Faithful by Alice Hoffman

A beautifully written coming-of-age tale about transformation, redemption, and learning to let go. When Shelby was seventeen, she was the driver in a car accident that put her best friend Helene in an irreversible coma. Helene is trapped inside herself and subjected to an endless stream of visitors convinced that she produces miracles. Shelby blames […]

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

Posted October 15, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

“Why do you always have to think about the worst things?” “Because the worst things happen all the time.” A character-driven novel about the messiness of love and coping with loss. Sixteen-year-old Lucy runs away with her thirty-year-old English teacher, leaving only a vague note for her adoptive mother and older sister to find. They […]