Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review: "Almost Forever" by Deborah Raney

Bryn Hennesey, a volunteer at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter, was there the night the shelter burned to the ground and five heroic firefighters died at the scene. Among them was her husband, Adam. Like the rest of the surviving spouses, Bryn must find a way to begin again. But Bryn must do so living with a horrible secret.…

Garrett Edmonds’s wife, Molly, was the only female firefighter to perish in the blaze. As her husband, it was his job to protect the woman he loved.… How can he go on in the face of such unbearable loss and guilt?

And what started the fire that destroyed the dreams and futures of so many? Investigators are stumped. But someone knows the answer….

What would you do if you found out that you were the reason why something bad happened? Would you be able to own up to it, knowing that forever your life was going to change possibly negative for the rest of your life? Or would you hide it and hope that you could get away with it? That is the dilemma Bryn faces in this book as she goes through the hardest decision that will affect her life.

The beginning of this book is heart wrenching as the reader is introduced to Bryn and her life as a volunteer in a homeless shelter. Her peaceful night is abruptly interrupted when the building catches on fire, a fire so deadly that it takes the lives of five firefighters who came to put it out. This includes Bryn's own husband and the wife of elementary school teacher Garrett. Due to their unique circumstances, the two find themselves drawn together as they cope and mourn at the same time.

The lives of firefighters and their families were shown in great detail in this book. Firefighters are really close and it doesn't matter what their gender is, they are one unit. I really liked how Garrett's wife was not portrayed any different from the other firefighters just because she was a woman. I also enjoyed learning about the shelter. It was really amazing how she did this strictly as a volunteer and not getting funding for all her work.

While I enjoyed the book, there was also some things I didn't like about it. I just never really got the chemistry between Bryn and Garrett. I understand why they felt a closeness with each other but honestly I thought it was just too soon for them to be getting together. Also I got a little bit annoyed with Bryn's refusal to get a lawyer or even listen to one. I understand why she felt she had to do what she needed to do but it was just annoying to read her constant refusal. Overall, though I did enjoy the book. Raney has always done an excellent job with telling stories and this one is no exception. I'll be looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Almost Forever by Deborah Raney is published by Howard (2010)

This review copy was provided for a blog tour with Glass Road Public Relations

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