I feel like I blinked and July is over. Unfortunately, that seems to be the theme of summer! I’ve probably said to everyone I’ve seen over the last week but I always approach summer thinking I have so much time to relax and enjoy. Then all of a sudden its August 10th and I’m not sure how we got here!
I read three amazing and very different books in July. I love having time set aside each day to read and let my mind dive into the world an author has created. Books are such a lovely respite during a busy work day or week. And on a rainy New England day like today, I could sit and read all day long.
If you love love stories (like The Notebook), this book is for you. I’m sure many are familiar with the movie version of this book, which came out earlier this summer. My sister recommended I read this book and I am so grateful she did. I got completely absorbed into the beautiful, complicated world of Will and Lou as they navigate their new friendship. I found myself holding my breath waiting to see what would happen, my heart filled with complete joy and total agony. This book = emotional rollercoaster. I have heard wonderful things about Jojo Moyes’ other books, including the sequel to this book, After You. It’s on my short list for September reads. Me Before You is a must read. You will just hug the book at the end. Truly, I did this when I finished it on the hammock in Maine.
This book holds such a tender place in my heart because the life of the O’Briens feels like the life of my family or many families I know. This story follows Joe O’Brien, a forty-four year old Boston Police Officer living in Charlestown as he discovers he has Huntington’s Disease (HD). It then chronicles the ups and downs of what life is really like living with HD. Before reading this book I knew very little about HD but it is the most devastating disease as your body begins to fail you in every possible way. Basically, your nerve cells slowly break down over time. The book describes the disease so it is easily understood and flows with the story very well. One of the most notable characteristics of HD is that it is a genetic disease so you will only get it if one of your parents has it. Joe O’Brien has four children who are now faced with the decision of finding out whether they carry the HD gene or not. This could be my family or my friends families and I felt as if I was part of the O’Brien’s as I read this book. The decisions this family has to make are unimaginable. Inside the O’Briens is written by Lisa Genova who also wrote Still Alice. I found myself being so grateful to have read this book solely so I know more about this horrific, devastating disease. Research for HD is extremely underfunded so raising awareness is critical. You will laugh and cry throughout reading this book. Just amazing.
Overall, I loved this book. I think I went in with a certain expectation of what the book was going to be like. I thought this was going to be more like The Lovely Bones where it’s mystery and a bit disturbing or edge of your seat at certain moments. But no, this book was not like that and once I adjusted my expectations I really loved this book. This story follows the Lee family as they discover their daughter, Lydia, has gone missing. The story then journeys through time, flashing back to different periods in the family’s history to give the reader an understanding of how they arrived to where they are today. It is tenderly written and also just simply sad at certain points. You can only imagine the struggle they face as they cope with their missing daughter/sister and what their future will now look like. It also gives the reader an understanding of how every part of your past impacts the person you are today. This was a beautiful story.
And that’s it for July! I moved a little bit slower through my books but I loved each of them. The thing I really enjoy about reading is becoming part of a different world where you form connections and ideas about each character and their environment. I begin to feel so attached to the characters and the books that I am sad when I finish! I guess that is a testament to the excellent writing and incredible minds of these authors.
Hope you are all had a wonderful Wednesday!! #humpday
See you Friday for my favorites!
Love, The Adams