Monday, February 29, 2016

(21)Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany


At this moment I am on a cruise ship somewhere in the western Caribbean. I am lounging in a deck chair with a book and a drink.  Hopefully reading until my eyes fall out or I get drunk, whichever comes first.  :)

Natalie Clark always knew that she was adopted, but she was thirty-five years old before she knew that she had an older sister.  Against her parent's wishes, Natalie goes searching for her sister in hopes that she will lead her to her mother.  Thirty-nine year old Brooke Walker had a very different life than her sister, Natalie.  She was older when they were put in the care of the state and while Natalie was adopted in a matter of months,  Brooke never found a family that wanted to take on a disruptive, sullen child.  After aging out of the foster home she lived in, Brooke made her career as a waitress and now finds herself single and pregnant at thirty-nine.  She is cautiously excited to reconnect with Natalie, but she wants absolutely nothing to do with the mother who gave them up when she went to prison.

Jennifer Walker didn't want to steal from that grocery store, but her daughters were hungry.  When she was caught by store management she thought she could convince them to not call the cops on the homeless young mother.  Instead she ended up going to prison, which started a chain of events that had Jennifer in and out of prison before turning to a life of serving as first a vet tech, then a vet.  Not a day goes by that she doesn't think of the daughters that she gave up all of those years ago, but she has carefully built a new life for herself and is fearful that seeing them again will bring her safe, new world crashing down around her.  Will these three women be able to build a future as a family or will past hurts prevent them from a happy future?

Somewhere Out There is told in alternating perspectives, first Jennifer in the past, then both Natalie and Brooke in the present.  The book starts out with Jennifer's desperation as she heads into the grocery store.  It is hard to be angry with her because she was so young and so desperate, but I also felt like there was more to her story that we weren't getting.  I wished that her story had been a little more fleshed out.   Natalie and Brooke are both great sisters to get to know, Brooke is a little more hardened and more skeptical than Natalie, but that comes from the way she grew up.  I though the book was realistic in the way that the sister's didn't become besties right away, but they took time to develop their relationship.  It really lent to the authenticity of the story. The author didn't end the book with a nice and tidy wrap up, she left the end to the imagination of the reader.  It takes a lot of courage for an author to trust her readers.

Bottom line - Somewhere Out There  is a touching and heartwarming story about a fractured family trying to heal the broken pieces of their heart.

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