Come Away With Me - Karma Brown
One minute, Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope for: an adoring husband, Gabe, and a baby on the way. The next, a patch of black ice causes a devastating accident that will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.
Tegan is consumed by grief, not to mention her anger toward Gabe, who was driving on the night of the crash. But just when she thinks she's hit rock bottom, Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity, a collection of their dream destinations and experiences, and so begins an adventure of a lifetime.
From the bustling markets of Thailand to the flavors of Italy to the ocean waves in Hawaii, Tegan and Gabe embark on a journey to escape the tragedy and search for forgiveness. But they soon learn that grief follows you no matter how far away you run, and that acceptance comes when you least expect it.
Heartbreaking, hopeful and utterly transporting, Come Away with Me is an unforgettable debut and a luminous celebration of the strength of the human spirit.
DEBUT novel, folks. Debut. I would not have believed that at all if someone on the street told me that, but it's clearly a debut and holy cripes- it's amazing. I don't care who you are, if this book doesn't punch you in the gut repeatedly? You are a dead soul. You are dead and just nobody I want to know. I'm going to tell you I was doing JUST FINE until chapter 53 and then... then I had to stop drinking liquids because I started choking and started with the full on ugly cry to the absolute end of the book.
WHAT KIND OF PLOT TWIST IS THAT, KARMA?! I feel like a page before chapter 53 that says, "Stop reading here unless you can commit to finishing the book in one sitting. Stop reading if you are in a public place, wearing eye makeup, eating/drinking, or have small children who will be concerned when you start sobbing."
OK. *calming breath*
The book is about Tegan. Tegan is happily married to what is easily the best guy in all of the world, Gabe and currently 6 months pregnant with their first son. The chapters flash back to "before the accident" and "after the accident" because that accident is the catalyst for the entire story. Tegan and Gabe are driving to his parents house, running late, and they hit black ice. It's a horrific accident that it's amazing there were any survivors. Tegan loses the baby and subsequently undergoes an emergency hysterectomy to save her life. Upon learning that, Tegan spirals into a world of pity, depression, and immense sorrow. Friends and family are deeply concerned that she's never going to come back to normal. When she's hit the absolute bottom, Gabe asks her to bring out their Jar of Spontaneity, which is full of things they wanted to do in their shared life together, to be done when things were feeling dull or stressful during married life. Reluctantly she does so and it starts their six week journey to Bangkok, Italy, and Hawaii. They meet amazing people along the way and Tegan struggles to mourn the life she thought she would have and figure out what life is going to be now.
All along the way, Gabe talks to her and reassures her that she can do this. She's not sure and you just feel absolutely awful for her. And then chapter 53 happens and you feel like you've been punched in the face. So much so that I had to go back and RE-READ the entire first 52 chapters and I could not believe I was that stupid and missed all of the clues.
Seasoned reader here missed ALL of the clue.
Slow clap, Karma Brown, slow clap.
I cannot tell you any more. I can't. It ruins it for you and I swear to you this book is something you need in your life. I think what else drew me to this book was I identified with Tegan. Her and I feel like kindred spirits and one section of the book early on sealed the deal there:
I'm a beacon for the talkers. It's as if I have a flashing sign that reads, "I want to hear all your stories, especially about your pet or disgusting medical issue!" No matter where I am, whether on the "L" train or walking through a shopping mall or sitting at a picnic bench in the park, the talkers flock to me. "It's your eyes," Gabe says by way of explanation. "You have curious eyes."
Then, at the end of the book, Tegan's dad says something to her and it encompasses everything I believe about marriage:
"I don't love your mother any more that I did all those years ago, but the way I love her has changed."
And isn't that just the truth? I feel like having this printed on little note cards so that every time an idiot says, "I love him, I'm just not "in" love with him" I can throw the card at them. That phrase is the basis for so many divorces because people don't get that love changes. No matter what happens to any of us in life, the way we love changes.
I highly recommend this book. I can't recommend this to enough people. Go buy it right now on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. If you know me at all, you know one of my favorite authors of all time is Susanna Daniel because she is just amazing. Her books are in my heart forever and I have a feeling Karma Brown will be there right with her. This book... gut wrench but amazing.
But you are in LUCK! One reader (US/Canada only) has a chance to win a copy for themselves! If ever there was a time to knock a person out, it would be right now fighting for this book. So in order to win a copy for your very own, what are 3 bucket list items of yours? Leave me a comment with that (and include your email!!) and I'll draw a name on Monday, August 31!
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