Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
4.5 emotional stars
“You destroyed me, Edie. You’re still destroying me.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“I want you to have never left me.”
So what to read next…….that was the big question and our conversation when choosing our next book went something like…
“I’m in the mood for something emotional…you know….a story that feels real.”
“I hear ya! That’s just how how I feel. We want something that will tear at our emotions and rip our hearts out, don’t we?”
And so after reading the synopsis for My Biggest Mistake our immediate thought was… ‘this is it!’ Did it reward us with the gut wrenching emotions we were seeking? Did it feel real and raw? There’s no denying it, we certainly did FEEL every moment of this gut wrenching, incredibly sad and moving story. Edie and Donnie’s story quite simply wrecked us and we wouldn’t have missed a minute of it.
Edie had always dreamed of the white picket fence, the loving husband and the adoring children and at 22, she had her dream. The mother of a toddler with twins on the way, on the outside life seemed good. So what caused her to flee without so much as a word to her loving and loyal husband Donnie, stay away for two years without contact thus inflicting so much pain and grief on her family, only to turn up after a two year absence, attempting to redeem herself for the havoc she had wrecked on her husband and children and those close to her.
“You see it as so black and white. It’s not. It’s greys and shaded areas and black hole.”
We hold our hands up here and admit to having pre-judged Edie going into this story and were prepared to dislike her. For us it was inconceivable to imagine a Mother abandoning her three small children. What would have possibly compelled her to take such a drastic step of walking away and leaving her husband to pick up the pieces emotionally and financially and keep his family together?
Through the authors words we did, surprisingly, find ourselves sympathising with, and understanding Edie. Edie’s reasons are revealed via interactions with herself and Donnie and it is here we discover the overwhelming feelings Edie was experiencing prior to, and during her absence. The moments between husband and wife as they attempt to heal and understand one another is, at times, extremely painful to witness. Their issues felt especially real and so we couldn’t help but feel a little voyeuristic, as though we were intruding on some very personal, private and painful moments between a couple at a crossroads which only served to intensify our already overwrought emotions.
“You were my reason to breathe. And then you left me and took my oxygen with you.”
The author did a splendid job of making us feel as though we knew this couple intimately, as though their pain was our pain and it was agonizing observing them as they dealt with their issues.
It’s hard not to react and become involved in this story and the characters as the scenes with Edie and Donnie felt so real it’s evident the author loved her characters and we felt her words being bled onto the pages of Edie and Donnie’s journey. This didn’t feel like a Googled fictional representation of Edie and Donnie’s struggles, no, this felt sincere and honest.
“I’m fighting with the selfish need to punish you while struggling with the overwhelming need to forgive you.”
Though this is told through Edie’s eyes and is predominantly her story we wish we had been privy to Donnie’s thoughts at some point as this was very much HIS story as well and for us, we felt it was crucial to have the chance to climb inside his head to get a glimpse of what he, personally, was experiencing. Sure, we saw his emotions through Edie’s eyes and we heard of Edie’s insurmountable battles in her absence but what of Donnie? Here was a young man left to pick up the pieces after being ‘betrayed’ by the woman he loved and we can only imagine the confusion he was feeling at both her absence and her return. His words would have taken this to a whole other level for us so we really wish we could have heard a little of Donnie’s thoughts first-hand. This man is intrinsically beautifully written; a very powerful man.
“I wanted to be your rock. I wanted to be your universe, your everything. Your hero, your best friend, you lover, the one you ran to when you were happy and the one you fell into when you were sad.”
There is no doubt about it, this story moved us, it gripped us, it hit us and it hit us HARD. Donnie and Edie’s story was painful, gut wrenchingly emotional and so bloody real. This is a story we FELT implicitly. Edie and Donnie’s journey isn’t an easy one, but given the subject matter you wouldn’t expect it to be.
‘I’m fucking sad, Donnie. Not suicidal.”
We were in the mood for a kick to the heart and we got exactly what we signed up for. We did feel the way the epilogue played out in some ways negated the journey these two took but it didn’t take away from what was a gripping, hard hitting, poignant and stirring story of two people trying to find their way back to each other when all seems lost.
A definite angsty and emotional recommend from us!
**Reviewed from an ARC Copy provided by Ardent PRose**
Some Other Books by Leddy
My darkness was born in it.
Her secret was created by it.
My job was immersed in it.
It would either ruin us or save us.
You always hear about the moment right before the end when you see your life flash before your eyes. Some people have even said they had experienced heaven as they headed for the bright light in that one split second before everything went blank. But there isn’t a way to know if they spoke of the truth. Not until you’re actually there, in that moment, that one moment just before the curtains of life are drawn closed after what becomes your final act.