I started reading this book at 12pm on a Wednesday, intending to "just get started on it“. Roughly 3 hours later I looked up, closing the last page. But let's start with a summary:
The story follows Annie Walters, a doctor in her late 30s, who had lived a perfectly normal and happy life. The car crash that takes her sister Grace and brother-in-law to death changes everything: suddenly Annie is moving into a big house full of memories, surrounded by three traumatized kids that she doesn’t know how to handle. But before she can even settle into this new life, Marcus, Danny’s half-brother, marches into her life, supposed to share custody of the children with her. Grudgingly they take on the challenge together, haunted by their own pasts, and might just grow into a family.
It sounds easy: girl meets boy she doesn’t like and a couple of hundred pages later to be sure they’ve fallen in love. But this is not your typical rom-com on paper. To begin with, Zoe Kane has a wonderful way with words: she crafts them together so beautifully that it captivates you from the start. Alone the prolog and the first chapter are a master piece and in no way does she lose this way of writing in the following chapters. The book never turns cheesy (except for a few pages, but has never done any harm to any book), it’s sooner heartbreaking, more of a drama and a family story than anything else.
One of the most surprising, but wonderful things I discovered while reading the novel is that it’s more than one love story. This might be weird to some, but was one of the loveliest plots I have read in fiction so far and was handled with a delicateness that many lack. The novel disappointed me at only one point near the end, which I will leave out due to spoilers.
The world „If the fates allow“ created fascinates me and I would adore to revisit it to find out more about Annie, Marcus and the kids. I grew to love each character, even Grace and Danny who were only met through memories. This may be due to the fact that the author crafted ever single character carefully, down to the last supporting one.
I first read the ebook on my Kindle, but ordered it on the same day as an actual book, because I liked the story so much. The book may lack in quality to many German paperbacks, but has a nicer quality than most of the English books I own.
I can fully recommend this book to any adult that wants to read a story about love, loss and family, that plays words like music and captivates you from the first line to the last. I’m definitely going to be re-reading this many times!
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