The circle of life is not always smooth and even though it seems to have no cracks or sharp ridges you never know when the circumference will come about and you life will spiral downward like the force emitted from an earthquake that shatters homes the foundations of buildings or the very core of your existence. Danielle Adams and Ean Montgomery had perfect marriages and picture perfect lives until like a piece of fragile stain glass it shattered and into tiny pieces with jagged edges that would never be whole again.
How do you say goodbye when you barely said hello? A drunk driver took the lives of Ean’s wife, son and unborn child. The same drunk driver took Dani’s husband.
The days started the same with Ean’s son excited about getting his yellow belt in marital arts and Dani knowing that her husband was planning a special anniversary night while their daughter was at his parent’s house. Tragedy strikes and lives fall apart when Dani’s in-laws come to tell her that Scott is gone. Allie’s Retreat was the name of his new shop until a phone call from his mom shattered his world. Dani was excited about her anniversary until she was told about the crash. She can hardly process what happened and Ean gives up his hopes and dreams sells off his business and both he and Dani become engulfed in a huge fog or mist that might never lift. But because this was an accident and life insurance policies come into play they were placed in a unique form of therapy in order to hopefully find a way back into the sunshine.
Part of their therapy is to use special cell phones to communicate with each other. No names just the first letter of their first name. At first the texts are stilted and sparse with little emotion. As they get to feel more comfortable with each other they begin to kid around even push each other to go to family functions and Ean finds his way back to civilization by volunteering in an abuse center and Dani decides to revisit her childhood home with her daughter but the reception she received from her mother was anything but caring or sympathetic.
Ean decides to volunteer at Austin House and the author shares her friendship with Justin who works there, the abuse inflicted upon him by this father and the reason why his mother defended them both by taking his life. Abuse and domestic violence happen every day and the author brings this to light as Justin and Dani bond once again. His time in New York was memorable and then texting Dani she decides to push it and encourage him to rekindle his furniture business but not before she and her mom have it out but will her mom stay sober and will she even consider spending time with Chloe? Added in Dani decides to remain there and gets a job in the preschool but will this be permanent or is she trying to bury herself inside without facing her true feelings for the loss of Scott?
Emotions run high, feelings are exchanged and the banter between them when you read their texts makes you wonder if they will eventually meet even though it’s against the rules.
Texting and becoming part of each other’s lives strengthen them at times becoming dependent on just knowing the other person was there. When Dani accidentally hits a small dog little does she suspect that Ian the dog’s owner is Ean. They never connect the dots. Both decide to forge ahead but Dani realizes that going home was not the answer and that Scott’s parents were her salvation and rock. Helping with Chloe and Josh and Lycee providing support Dani decides to work in a restaurant and then the hard part shines through. Ean’s friends are supportive and his mother too but when the year anniversary sets in he and Dani dani make a huge decision and take a huge leap of faith. Sitting in the cemetery mourning his family and Dani’s Scott they text cry and then make the decision to meet.
Reactions are incredible and the end result will shock both of them but what about their families and Chloe? Chances happen lives move ahead but are they moving too fast? Do they really care for each other or is it convenient to have someone in both of their lives? Love or? Families unite and one little girl has to decide whether she can accept someone other than Scott in her life as a male figure. What about Beverly and Roger how do they feel? Is this moving too fast?
Remembering Allie and Scott at the cemetery brings things to light but will she keep her word and Ean too and remember both Scott and Allie and Alex everyday for the rest of their lives. Remember it’s because of Beth the therapy counselor that brought them together with their special cell phones and risking her job that they found each other.
An ending that will bring tears to your eyes and hope in your hearts as the author through Ean and Dani create something that most people would never experience. Hope, faith, family love, smiles, tears and remembering the reasons why they were brought together but life like the circle of life has many surprises. Can you bring joy in your life after a tragedy that destroyed your every being? Can you find your way out of the fog and back into the sunshine? Will you circle of life become one and smooth again or will it remain fragile and broken in places? Can you back up your past and allow it to still remain in your present?
The author brings to light many important issues that most people do not address after a tragedy: Family loyalties, faith, hope, dealing with sadness, overcoming grief and allowing the world back into your heart but will Ean and Dani allow the world and each other to be one and the same?
What about their families will they accept the change? Author Stacy Mitchell created a novel with a unique and creative way of bringing love and joy into the hearts of two people who spent time crying on the floor, sad, not able to focus and even get up in the morning, tossing everyone aside and then feeling total despair. With the help of Lycee, Justin, Riley, Chance and all of their friends will they come alive again? As the song says: “Love is a many splendored thing…..Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living.” “Two lovers kissed and the world stood still
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to son: Yes, true love’s a many splendored thing.”
Will both Dani and Ean realize this as the story comes to an end and the realities of life set in? A story of love’s lost, loves found and hope! Can true love do the impossible in life will they realize that they are SAVING EACH OTHER?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine/MJ network
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