Tuesday, 16 May 2017

In This Moment

Author: Karma Brown
Genre: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Canadian
Type: e-book
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Harlequin
First Published: May 30, 2017
First Line: "I wake with a start thanks to a loud bang against the window on my side of the bed."

Book Description from GoodReadsBestselling author Karma Brown is back with a morally infused and emotionally riveting exploration of one woman's guilt over an unexpected—yet avoidable—tragedy.

Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she's able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes.

After school pickup one day, she stops her car to wave a teenage boy across the street…just as another car comes hurtling down the road and slams into him. 

Meg can't help but blame herself for her role in this horrific disaster. Full of remorse, she throws herself into helping the boy's family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more Meg tries to absolve herself, the more she alienates her own family—and the more she finds herself being drawn to the boy's father, Andrew.

Soon Meg's picture-perfect life is unraveling before her eyes. As the painful secrets she's been burying bubble dangerously close to the surface, she will have to decide: Can she forgive herself, or will she risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart?

My Rating: 3.5 stars

My Review: Karma Brown came on my book radar with her previous book The Choices We Make --- a book I really enjoyed.  Brown doesn't shy away from hard issues that waver somewhere in the gray area of right/wrong and blameless/guilty but you know that she'll always give her readers food for thought and topics for book club debates.

While The Choices We Make hit me hard in the tear ducts with it's emotional build-up and ending, In This Moment is different in that its big event happens early on with readers getting a bird's eye view into the aftermath of one fateful decision. It wasn't as emotional of a read as I was expecting but it brings up some timely topics.

I related to the main character, Meg, early on and felt that Brown accurately described her internal dialogue as a mom trying to do the best for her teenage daughter. I can relate in varying degrees to Meg's second guessing her parenting decisions, her need to show everyone she can 'do it all' and Meg's desire to hold her daughter close yet knowing that she must begin letting go. 

The book focuses on the intense, guilty feelings that Meg holds onto from the accident. 
I didn't always agree with Meg's choices but I could see why she made them. My head kept saying it wasn't her really her fault but my heart could understand why she'd hold herself partially responsible, her inability to move on and feeling stuck in the 'what if ...' downward spiral. 

Brown gets to the heart of the issue of long-held secrets, insecurities and doubts. Guilt is a complicated, nasty thing and issues are rarely black and white. That said, there's a lot going on in this book with various relationships and issues - underage drinking, distracted driving, infidelity -- some topics working better than others. It verged on almost too many issues for one book.  

This was another good read by Brown that focuses on the sometimes complicated relationships between parents and children, spouses, friends and how one brief decision can sometimes gravely effect the rest of our lives.  

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Harlequin for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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