Book Review, Contemporary

Book Review – If for Any Reason

41e12mX+VPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_If for Any Reason

by Courtney Walsh

Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.

As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

You can find this book on Amazon, here

My thoughts

This is such a beautiful story.
I wanted to cry through parts of it, I was that emotionally caught up in the story, and found so much I could relate to with Emily.
I loved visiting Nantucket, partially because I’ve always wanted to go there, Courtney Walsh really brought it to life for me.
Emily’s story is such a heart-rending one. So many hard things. Her life has been spent running, trying to be who she thinks her mom would have wanted her to be. She’s been chasing after those dreams so hard she’s mostly ignored the desires of her own heart, and hardly knows how to allow herself to be real and authentic, how to let others in to her life.
She grew up without a dad, believing that her dad wanted nothing to do with her, he didn’t even love her enough to get in touch, or anything.
Her main, guiding hand has been her mom’s journal, full of letters she wrote for Emily. Emily’s mom died in a tragic car accident when Emily was quite young, leaving Emily to be raised by her snobbishly rich grandparents.
Here is a quote I love, taken from Emily’s book of letters: “People will tell you God will never give you more than you can handle. I disagree. God allows us more than we can handle so we have to rely on Him. After all, if we could handle everything life throws at us, why would we need God at all?”
Visiting Nantucket where her Mom’s accident occurred is very difficult for Emily. It’s like she finally has to force herself to remember, to grieve, and more.
Meeting Hollis, her childhood friend and Nantucket neighbor, is a huge part of this process. He, along with his entire family, were crucial to Emily’s growing up years, and now they are again when she returns to Nantucket.
This book deals with forgiveness, second chances, and of course, love. Courtney Walsh has such a way of writing out a story, it left me feeling sad, but hopeful. The journey of Emily is one that speaks to the part in each of us that is struggling, seeking to find our way among the hard things in life.

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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