Are you a fan of a standard chick lit novel? Well I am, too. I don't read them as often as I maybe should, but every once in awhile one comes across my desk and I'm reminded that I am a chick and I kind of like these.
Carly's Gift - Georgia Bockoven
Sixteen years ago Carly Hargrove made a decision that would irrevocably alter her life. With little comprehension of the life-long consequences of her actions, she trades her own future happiness to protect the man she's loved since kindergarten, David Montgomery.
With an ocean separating them, Carly builds a life for herself without David. She's the mother of three, lives in a beautiful house, and is married to a man who comes home every night—even if most of those nights he drinks too much. What more could she want?
Her answer arrives on a cold fall day when David shows up at her door. In town for his father's funeral, he has come to see Carly one last time, hoping to rid himself of the anger that still consumes him.
Instead, he is drawn into a web of secrets that rekindles the fierce need he once felt to protect Carly. He becomes caught up in her life in a way he never could have imagined—a way that will bind him to her forever.
If you ever wondered what it's like to weave a web of lies, this story is your blueprint. Let's break it down for you: Carly is in love with David, an aspiring writer. David's best friend Ethan is in love with Carly. Carly unexpectedly gets pregnant very young through rape, so she's faced with not many options. Knowing David would put his aspiring career aside to take care of her and the baby, she chooses to essentially dump him and let him go off to England. Meanwhile, Ethan becomes the white knight and marries her, thinking that the baby is David's and his friend was the asshole who left a pregnant girl behind. Carly and Ethan have a troubled marriage because she doesn't really love Ethan the way he wants/deserves and though they had two boys of their own, she feels stuck.
Until David comes back for a family funeral.
Which is when the web comes loose because David finds out about the daughter that isn't his, but Ethan thinks is his, and while trying to do the right thing he becomes Andrea's dad because he understands the position Carly is in, and he basically is still in love with her. Oh but then Andrea gets sicks and the real story behind Andrea's father comes out and it's as traumatic as you would think it would be.
Overall? I liked the book. I kept going with it and had a hard time putting it down. I really kind of hated Carly. I mean, I understand that as a rape victim you've been through a huge trauma that irrevocably changes your life in some ways. But to not be honest with Ethan, the guy who stuck by her? Think of how different he would have been towards Carly and Andrea? It could be a whole other story. It feels a little selfish, and I suppose as mothers we have a natural inclination to be a little selfish when it comes to our kids.
But man- that ending? That ending is sad. You root for another ending but you aren't going to get it. As a mom, I can't even imagine because it happens over the course of a few years but it feels far faster than that. But in the end, even with all of the lies and the other people it hurt in the process- Carly did right by Andrea at the end. I can't give you any more than that otherwise it ruins the last third of the book. ;)
Georgia has a website as well as Facebook to follow her and her other reads on.