Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Safe Within - Review

Title: Safe Within   Author:  Jean Reynolds Page
Source: Publisher through Librarything Contest

Barnes and Noble Summary:

A novel of how family happens—whether you like it or not
Elaine and Carson Forsyth have returned to the tree house—Elaine's childhood home, a cabin nestled high in the branches of two oaks beside a North Carolina lake—where forty-nine-year-old Carson has chosen to spend the waning days of his life. As Elaine prepares for a future without her beloved husband, their solace is interrupted. Carson's mother, Greta, has set loose a neighbor's herd of alpacas and landed herself in police custody. While Carson, remarkably, sees humor in the situation, Elaine can only question what her obligations are—and will be—to a woman who hasn't spoken to her in more than twenty years.
In the wake of Carson's death, Elaine and their grown son, Mick, are thrust into the maelstrom of Greta, the mother-in-law and grandmother who never accepted either of them. Just as they are trying to figure out their new roles in the family, Mick uncovers unexpected questions of his own. A long-ago teenage relationship with a local girl may have left him with more than just memories, and he must get to the bottom of Greta's surprising accusations that he's not Carson's son at all.

My thoughts:

Wow, this book might be for anyone who might not get along with their inlaws, because I am pretty sure Greta at the beginning of this book can trump them all.The tension between Elaine, Mick and Greta are so thick I was actually uncomfortable reading about this at first, especially when you mix in the grief caused by the death of a parent, husband and son. 

Carson Forsythe was beloved by his family - his mother Greta, his wife Elaine, and his son Mick.  Unfortunately, Greta had always hated Elaine and her boho parents, and consequently hated Mick, not believing him to be Carson's son.  There was so much bad blood between the families, you wondered if things could ever be reconciled. 

I had my fingers crossed the whole book for this to happen, for who better to grieve with and share stories with and heal with then the people who loved the deceased the most?  This book kept you wondering what could be next, and was emotionally intense at times to read.  However, I couldn't put it down, rooting for this family to heal together the whole time.

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