I received this book free from Netgalley, the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Forever, Interrupted on July 9th 2013
"Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime."
Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.
Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.
Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.
‘When you love someone so much that you’ve stuck around through all the interesting things that have happened to them and you have nothing left to say, when you know the course of their day before they even tell you, when you lie next to them and hold their hand even though they haven’t said one interesting thing in days, that’s a love I want. It’s the love I was on target for.’
Elsie and Ben: madly in love and only recently married. Forever, Interrupted opens with a short view of their life together and how apparent their love is before that picture perfect view is shattered completely leaving Elsie all alone. Dealing with the aftermath proves even more difficult than normal as Elsie is stuck explaining herself to a family that never knew of her existence.
The story switches between the present situation and mixes in the story of when Elsie and Ben first met. We’re already aware that there is an end in sight to their relationship, but getting a look back at when they met and how they fell in love was heartbreaking yet necessary.
Obviously I need to explain the reasoning for the fact that I’m (currently) the ONLY one to have rated this book any less than 3 stars. So here it is.
Ben and Elsie’s courtship was quick and extremely spontaneous. I suppose that even though I personally have never had a perfect first date I shouldn’t assume that they don’t exist. But their first date was EXTREMELY perfect. And a quite a bit insta-love-ish. I ended up being a bit forgiving of that when they were able to think logically, take a step back, and realize things might be moving too fast.
“I think you and I are just…Yes, we are moving quickly but we’re moving at a pace that feels natural for both of us.”
They were logical about it and both had intense feelings for one another so it managed to work somewhat for me. It was obvious that they truly loved each other eventually but the way it began (and the thoughts of ‘I-love-yous’ after like TWO DAYS) was severely unrealistic for me (as was Ben because he acted like no man that I’ve ever met.)
I also had a huge issue with the whole reasoning behind why Ben never told his mother about Elsie. View Spoiler »Ben’s father died 3 years ago and his mother has never rebounded. In his mind, if he came home and told his mother that he was in love and that he was incredibly happy she would feel left out and would be upset that he’s happy. Plus, something else about now that he has Elsie he will no longer have any room for her in his life. First off, this doesn’t seem like a very male thought process. Also, come on… seriously? Sorry, but I call bullshit. It’s been 3 years and besides, your mother should be HAPPY that you’re happy. If I was his girlfriend I’m not sure I would have been as understanding. « Hide Spoiler
And lastly: View Spoiler »The whole scene where she realizes that she could possibly be pregnant, runs down to the store and buys a test, comes home only to get her period like 5 minutes later was completely unnecessary and was a gratuitous addition to an already dreary tale. « Hide Spoiler
While I admit I’m a total Grinch and it takes a lot to get me to cry (I didn’t cry, for the record) I still found this to be quite a grievous story. What really struck me hardest was Elsie’s parents reaction (and several other people she encountered). They were immediately dismissive of his death since she knew him for only a few months and was married to him even shorter than that. They understood she’s going through some pain of course, but they dismissed the fact that she could even consider herself a ‘widow’. People can be so terribly dismissive and judgmental of others feelings and yet have no idea what you could possibly be going through. Even her best friend was like that:
“…at some point someone needs to remind you that you lost something you only had for six months. Six months. And I’m not saying this isn’t hard, but it’s not like you’re ninety and you lost your life partner here.”
It was heartbreaking to witness people’s unwillingness to simply be there for someone without judgment.
Forever, Interrupted is a story about grief and about learning to overcome it and reassemble the pieces of your shattered life. While I wasn’t the hugest fan of this novel, the ending was partially redeeming and managed to paint a very accurate portrait of grief and its indelible effects on you.