There are very few stories that live up to their expectations when they go into part two territory. I am happy and proud to say that I wasn't wrong about this series/author and it was worth the wait. We got the past, present and the future in a lovely, as real as it can get in story land, package!
I loved every minute of it and the epilogue was written so that we could get the future without it feeling all kinds of rushed and incomplete. We covered so much and got to see the outcome of their struggles from book 1 and 2. Normally I don't go for trilogies these days because most of them are just cash cows but I could use a next novel on these two. I am not ready to let them go :(
As for Caleb, boy did we get some light on him! Unfortunately, I can't hate him. I get his point and determination however unscrupulous and an argument can be made that he was a sadistic little one but we didn't get that Caleb so I can't hate him and I still miss him. I actually hope he could be around to defend himself. Plus, we got Dillan and that little boy was just as awesome as a baby as he was as a hungry 16 year old. Yup! We go way up in the future and I start to wonder if we might get a novel on the children of this novel. They are now more interesting than all the parents :)
Nathan was his usual self but he cut himself open this time and laid vulnerable for all to see. I connected even more with him and Gwen and got comfortable in their ability to understand and navigate each other's personalities.
I felt their frustration, anger, betrayal, love and passion and I found that there is something to be said about having half way sex with Nathan. I have never seen it done before and it can be quite the kick to an ego but I surely would wanna try! It's just so erotic and weird o.O
The emotions of this level were high! Even though I had already figured out half of the major conflict, I had no problem going through the motions to reveal the rest. We were literally being taken through a day by day summary of their lives a few months after Gwen leaves the village. I didn't mind and I felt like I could spend every single day in their lives and not get bored.
There is also an element in this novel that makes you able to relate to different situations as they arise, like the breaking down of friendships and the struggles new mother's face. Ms. Murphy also has the ability to write guys that we love but can easily hate and this go it was Eric.
He was extremely pushy but he was a nice guy with solid friends and family. You can't hate the characters of this novel but you will get upset with them all from time to time. The addition of Valentine, Tiffany and Elle helped to cement and transition to the next level in Gwen's life. I also did what I thought I would never do and forgave her mom.
She made mistakes and abandon her only child when she needed her the most but I love the mom she became in this installment and how she never hid behind anything. Every one's personality in the novel was distinct and memorable and made me feel like I was apart of the group. I knew what to expect from every one.
This matched part of my expectation but still left me satisfied and with an addition to my favourite authors list. The culture was thick and true Brit, the friendships tentative and the emotions believable. I loved every minute and wish I didn't read it so I could read it again. It didn't need the heavy erotica or calculated deviants because it was more vulnerable and therefore memorable. All I can say is, Gwen needs to redo her Food Handler's course and Nathan should play poker with that face.