Forever, Interrupted was another fantastic read from Taylor Jenkins Reid. What I love best about Reid’s books is the way she makes her characters so realistic. They talk and think like I do, and their actions seem familiar. All those elements make her books searing portrays of young women in challenging situations. Here, the book opened when Elsie Porter’s husband died in an accident only days after their wedding. The story switched between telling Elsie’s love story and then dealing with the mother-in-law she never met. Elsie went through a horrific and life changing event after her husband died. The premise of Ben’s death as a catalyst for the story does sound more depressing than the book was. Actually, the novel was half a love story and half a lesson on moving on after a tragic and senseless loss. By alternating the chapters, they balanced out the somber tone of the ones focused on Elsie moving on.
What made this an unconventional love story was that Ben never told his mother about Elsie. So, the appearance of a new wife at his hospital bed was shocking to Susan and interrupted her ability to handle the situation like she always tried to do. There were plenty of little details that shifted the blame of the secret from Ben, to Susan, to Elsie. Ultimately, I liked that Susan and Elsie’s relationship developed into a one that was healthy and helped them both heal. There were a few points that were heavy and very sad, but the overall themes that examined relationships and the human spirit were so well done I couldn’t stop reading.
I liked that the setting was in my part of world, Orange County, California. It was fun to read about familiar landmarks and the Southern Californian way of life. Reid just a gets right to the heart of who people are and how they interact with each other. The conversations and actions seem natural, and allow the story to move along well. Her writing was what drew me in to After I Do and has made her one of my new favorite authors. I am eagerly awaiting the next book by this author out this summer!