From Goodreads: The time is the late 1970s. The place is the windswept heartland of America. The woman is Tully-- defiant young rebel with an agonizing secret, devoted friend faced with a shattering betrayal, impassioned lover haunted by a man whose touch is more powerful than all her pain. But in the years to come, beyond the torments and marvels of adolescence, into a world where men will vie for her and lie to her, Tully will dare to win everything, and risk losing it all, in one raw, reckless gamble of the heart. From Paullina Simons comes an astonishing novel about passion and loss, love and revelation; about friendship that endures through lifetimes, and even beyond death; and about one unforgettable woman named Tully, struggling to make sense of it all.
My Thoughts: This is a really hard book to review because I am not still not 100% sure how I feel about it. I do know that I love Paullina Simons' writing and this book is another example of how great of a writer she is.
Tully was a difficult character. I liked her while at the same time she was such a frustrating character. I was definitely felt sympathetic toward her; she had an awful childhood filled with sexual and physical abuse and so much loss but she never tried to get help for her issues and it drove me nuts! She spent so much time advocating for abused children and trying to get them the help they needed while she just pushed down her issues and refused to deal with them. At times she seemed so tough and strong but at other times I just wanted her to drop her walls and let people in. I really loved her husband, Robin, and it was so hard to see how much he loved her and how much she pushed him away. I guess I am kind of rambling at this point, but what I am trying to see is that Tully was a very complicated character with so many layers.
I read a lot of reviews of this book on goodreads.com and a lot of them talked about how they thought the character, Jack, was the best in the whole book. I disagree. I personally liked Jack the least of all the characters. He just seemed shifty and untrustworthy and there was just something about his character that rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't like his relationship with Tully and I didn't like that he kept popping in and out of the story.
The overall story was beautiful and frustrating and complex and followed Tully from her teenage years into adulthood. At times I wanted to throw the book across the room and at other times I was completely enchanted. I will say that his book could have easily ended in a bad way but it didn't. I absolutely loved the ending and it was exactly what I would have hoped for. It really couldn't have been more perfect and I think that it made up for all of the moments I was irritated with Tully or the story as a whole. So even though my review is kind of wishy washy, I would definitely recommend this book. It's so different from anything I have ever read and I am really glad that I finally read it. 4 stars.