Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Review: "A Moment" by Marie Hall

We all have moments in our lives, some so fleeting, they are almost forgotten, but others so significant, they will engulf us, define us and change the course of our lives. This book focuses on the latter and tells the story of Liliana Delgado and Ryan Cosgrove

Lili's life is turned upside down when at fourteen, she discovers she’s pregnant. The fallout from this is that her father leaves unable to cope with her decision to keep the baby:

…..The real reason he left, he did it because of me. Because of what I’d done, how I’d screwed up

 his plans for my life. He’d always said I’d make something of myself, bring pride and

honor to the Delgado clan, until the day the doctor said Javi was coming.

 On top of that, Lili’s mother is suffering from multiple Sclerosis and her son “Xavier” is diagnosed with high functioning autism. Her life is not how she’d planned it, not by a long shot.

Then there’s Ryan Cosgrove. Ryan has demons and he’s been carrying them around for fifteen years. They’re deep, dark and they are eating him alive:

I have worked my entire life to forget, to fight and forget. To become a man, to

never look back. But I’m stuck in a revolving door, no matter how many

times I push, all I ever really do is stay in place.

The night their paths cross their lives are changed forever. Lily doesn’t want to spend Valentine’s day in a burlesque bar, she has better things to do with her time like study or spend time with her son. Ryan is out to drink himself into oblivion. He is trying to forget the events that took place on the 14th February all those years ago but no amount of alcohol seems to be working. Although there is an immediate attraction between them, both fight it:

In that second, I’m scared. No point lying to myself. Something violent lurks behind the mask

he wears. Something ugly and I’m not sure I want any part of it.

Ryan is broken and defeated.  He sees no light at the end of the tunnel and that night he decides to end his pain, to leave it all behind. Fortunately, fate has other plans for him and Lili finds him and saves him. This book is about their story…. Their moment.

I loved this book and was in complete and utter awe of Lili’s character. To push through all the adversities life had thrown at her, to, keep smiling and never complain, I found her  inspirational. She had her goals in life and nothing was going to detract from achieving them. She wanted a better life for herself and her son and come hell or high water she was going to get it. I found her character to be strong, compassionate, resilient and completely and utterly selfless. Even when she knew she should walk away, she couldn’t. It wasn’t in her nature. She wanted to help, to shoulder the burden of Ryan’s problems:

Ryan: “I’ve got demons, Lili. And sometimes they drown me”.

Lili:    “Then let me be your raft”.

And Ryan, god my heart just hurt for him. He was so tormented, so desperate and so fragile. His life was in pieces. It wasn’t difficult to work out why but  I don’t think the aim of the story was to keep us guessing. Ryan desperately tried to forget, to move forward, to lead a normal life but each time he felt he was making progress, the demons would come back bigger, stronger and uglier than before. They would consume him and  destroy him and so the cycle of his life would begin again:

I have worked my entire life to forget, to fight and forget. To become a man,

to never look back. But I'm stuck in a revolving door, no matter

how many times I push, all I ever really do is stay in place.

There was so much pain in Ryan’s life and it hurt to see the damage it was doing to him and the effect it was having on those around him. I could see that Lili’s intentions were good, she wanted to help him, save him even  but the only person who could save Ryan was himself. Until he was willing to face the past, he would never move on with his future and that was gut wrenching to watch.

Ryan’s cousin Alex also played a big part in this story. We saw Alex on so many occasions picking up the pieces when Ryan “lost it”. I think there was such a huge feeling of guilt on Alex’s part and we forget that not only was Ryan affected by that night but so was Alex. I loved Alex and everything he was trying to do for the characters but a part of me felt that he needed saving in some way too, that the past had had a bigger impact on his life than he let on.

“A  Moment” isn’t your typical contemporary romance and it definitely isn’t an easy read but Marie Hall has done an amazing job in telling what is quite a difficult story. The book deals with a number of difficult subject matters  but these are dealt with in a very careful, yet honest and realistic manner. Because of this, it made the story so much more plausible and  I never once found myself questioning or second guessing the characters, their emotions or the plot.

This book was raw and it was real. Marie described settings, situations and scenarios in such a manner that there were moments (if I closed my eyes) I could have been right there experiencing it all with the characters.  And because I connected so well with the characters, I felt every emotion they went through. When Ryan felt defeated, I felt broken for him, when Lili  felt hope, I was right there with her, cheering her on.

Would I recommend this book? Definitely.  This book doesn’t pull any punches. It is full of angst, it is gut wrenching and it will break your heart. But this book is also about hope, healing and finding love. Although this is the first in a series, you will get a “happily ever after” and you will also get an amazing yet realistic epilogue which will restore your faith in human nature.

I rated this book an amazing 5 Hearts.

Go out and read it. It’s available on Amazon as an eBook for £0.77

 The second book tells the  story of  Ryan’s cousin Alex. I can’t wait for it’s release.

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