DESCRIPTION - Emily Morris got her happily-ever-after earlier than most. Married at a young age to a man she loves passionately, she is building the life she always wanted. But when her mother-in-law becomes chronically ill, enormous stress threatens her marriage. Emily watches helplessly as the devotion Drew once showed her is transferred to his ailing mother. When she's thrust into an enforced caretaker role, it's too much to bear. Emily starts spending more and more time at work. That's when she falls in love with her boss. That's when she gets pregnant.
Resolved to tell her husband of the affair and to leave him for the father of her child, Emily's plans are thwarted when the world is suddenly split open. It's 9/11 and her lover is just one of the thousands of people who have been killed in the towers. It's amid terrible tragedy that she finds her freedom, as she leaves New York City to start a new life. It's not easy, but Emily--now Connie--forges a new happily-ever-after in California. But when a life-threatening diagnosis upends Connie's life, she is forced to confront her past for the good of her thirteen-year-old daughter.
A riveting debut in which a woman must confront her own past in order to secure the future of her daughter, People Who Knew Me asks readers-what would you do?
Kim Hooper has created a moving and bittersweet story in “PEOPLE WHO KNEW ME”. From the very first line in chapter one the reader is hooked. The characters she has created are complex and rich leaving one as they read with feelings of empathy, frustration and sorrow.
Drew and Emily become smitten the moment they meet and become college sweethearts. They are very much in love and have a wonderful friendship, but with absentee fathers and no ideal role models for marriage, their vows soon become tested when Drew’s mother becomes ill and he is now a full time caregiver. Their marriage starts to crumble and they find that love alone cannot sustain them. Drew ignores Emily’s unhappiness and chooses to live in denial and Emily, unable or unwilling to understand, takes solace in an old relationship from college, her new boss, Gabriel Walters.
Pregnant and no longer able to live a lie Emily decides to tell Drew their marriage is over, but fate intervenes and the unthinkable happens. Emily leaves behind all those she loves, changes her identity and starts a new life in California. But the past always comes back to haunt you, as Emily finds. Facing an aggressive form of cancer, Emily is forced to tell her teenage daughter about her past and let the chips fall where they may.
The story and the characters the author created haunted me. I found myself shaking my head and feeling genuine sadness at their lack of compassion and their inability to see the suffering they were causing each other. Claire was the bright spot in all the dysfunction. She was the good they created that would be a lasting legacy for everyone involved.
The ending was as perfect as the beginning, but I was greedy and wanted more. I didn’t want to let the characters go. I wanted to know if Claire developed a relationship with her father. I wanted to know if Emily beat the odds and was able to see Claire grow into a young woman. I wanted to know what happened to Drew’s mother and how he finally realized his own dreams. I’d like to think at the very least they found forgiveness and redemption in each other. I highly recommend this book. You will continue to think about it long after you turn the last page.
I appreciate being given a free advanced copy of “PEOPLE WHO KNEW ME” for a fair and honest review.
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