Title: Forever Interrupted
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Woman’s Fiction
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About the Book:
“Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.”
Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.
Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.
Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.
Ben and Elise are madly in love, and just recently married. We are treated to a short bit about their life and journey to the happily ever after when suddenly Ben is tragically killed and Elise must learn to move forward alone. Complicating this situation is the fact that his family has no clue she exists, let alone that she is his widow. The story moves between present situations and flashbacks of Ben and Elise when they first met, providing some grounding for the reader to understand the depth of her grief.
This was an interesting story that occasionally gave me the impression that Elise was canonizing Ben, so often after someone dies unexpectedly those left behind forget that they were human and fallible with faults and bad decisions. Ben’s not sharing Elise’s existence with his family was not something that anyone with sense would have taken well, and his reasoning was faulty: his mother, despite her own losses, should have been happy for her son’s happiness. Why there was no lingering aggravation and annoyance with Ben, when she is left to make introductions and introduce herself as grieving widow to a family that doesn’t believe or know of her is just not realistic to me.
Less troublesome was their connection, although it was a quick one, there was enough of the connection defined and shown that it felt real, even as I thought Elise was more naïve than she should have been. There was, and since we are looking back, several scenes where the perfection of the setting, and the imagery created did defy belief: but that too is a part of the process of grieving and keeping important moments at the forefront of memory.
Overall, I think that Taylor Jenkins Reid created a story that had moments that defied belief and a few gratuitous scenes, but the story arc illustrates a woman thrust into the grieving process and how she navigates the challenges to pick up her own life and move forward. The overwhelming hopefulness in the aftermath of a life changing event and the steps toward that new and different life is achieved in this story.
I received an eGalley copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist living in Los Angeles. Before becoming a writer, she worked in entertainment and education. Her essays have appeared on The Hairpin, The Billfold, xoJane, and Good.