“No matter how strong you are, no matter how smart you are or tough you can be, the world will find a way to break you. And when it does, the only thing you can do is hold on.”
Published in 2013, Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid is set on a rainy New Year’s Day, when twenty-something Elsie 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.
All of the TJR books that I’ve read so far have been either 5 stars or very close to it. Her stories always pull me in completely and make me feel all the emotions. For me, Forever, Interrupted wasn’t quite on the same emotional level as her other books have been, but it was still a really lovely read.
The story is cleverly told over two timelines, the first in the present as Elsie copes with the loss of her husband, and the second in the past as we see how Elsie and Ben met and how their whirlwind romance progressed so quickly.
The way these two stories come together is absolutely beautiful, and the themes of loss, grief and healing are brilliantly handled in between.
I suppose the reason that this story didn’t hit me so hard emotionally is that it’s about much more than just a fated love. There’s no doubt of Elsie and Ben’s feelings for one another, but it’s more about keeping Ben’s memory strong, about Elsie finding a way to move forward, and about Ben’s mother accepting a side to her son that she didn’t know about.
It’s a really heartwarming story which, although it didn’t bring a tear to my eye, is still incredibly moving.
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