I read most all genres and more fiction now that I am retired, but this book is what I would classify as a beach-read. It's easy, it moves quickly, there is little depth to it. Had I realized my beach-read classification, I would have saved it for the beach. Really. I'm just glad it did not take anymore time than it did to read it.
The story is interesting and fairly believable. The actions and responses are quite understandable. Love, affection, anger, hate can steer any of us down an unworthy and sinful path if right does not eclipse wrong. The characters in this story confirm that statement. Three characters stirred my emotions: Isabel, Tom, and Frank. Of those three, Isabel was the worst. I think from her entrance into the story she was rather self-consumed due to upbringing and tragic circumstances. Tom seemed to be the model of right until a selfish love and affection persuaded him otherwise. Frank, a minor character, is the one with the most substantive advice.
I like to copy thoughtful quotes from my reading to my commonplace book, but as pages were read and turned, I was sure I would not have any from this book. Yet, on page 323 and 332 of the 343 pages, I found two.
"But how? How can you just get over these things, darling?" she had asked him. "You've had so much strife but you're always happy. How did you do it?And,
"I choose to," he said. "I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget."
"But it's not that easy."
He smiled that Frank smile. "Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things. . . ." [W]e always have a choice. All of us."
"I mean I promised to spend my life with you. I still want to spend my life with you. . . .I've learned the hard way that to have any kind of a future you've got to give up hope of ever changing your past."
Ratings are so, so subjective that one, in my opinion, should be "as wise serpents and as innocent as doves" when tempted to let a rating determine his reading. Out of five stars, the story held my interest for a four-star rating, the writing was just average to me for a bare-three-star rating, and the overall benefit of the story might be a 2.5. I think 3 stars is a generous one.