April and Oliver
Author: Tess Callahan
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Read Time: 1 day
Rating (1-5): 3.75
Tag Words: Valentines Event, ABC Book Challenge (A), Adult contemporary, 2010 Debut Author, family tragedy, true love, wedding, funeral, death, grief, memories, girl addicted to abusive relationships, neglecting true path, finding who you belong to
April has been in a life long rut of letting the wrong men use and abuse her, starting with her father and going from there. Oliver has sat by and watched as April, his soul mate, tortures herself because it’s all she knows. As kids and adolescence, Oliver never had the wisdom, or the strength to stop her from her self-destruction, but when Buddy, April’s beloved little brother dies Oliver is back in her life, and he’s brought his fiancee along for the ride.
This is a very sad book with wonderful pacing and pitiable characters.
I was disappointed by the lack of romance between April and Oliver, I could never tell if April felt it and refused to acknowledge her love for Oliver because he didn’t fit her self-destructive MO, or if Oliver was the only one with legitimate feelings for anyone.
I want to say I was rooting for April and Oliver only because the book’s title told me they belonged together and I have a thing for the right people ending up with their right people, even if they have to much through crap to get there. Had I been left to my own devices I may have rooted for April to get herself back together and for Bernice and Oliver to be soulmates instead.
I think the book is more about grief, and how childhood experiences will affect a child, rather than a true love story. I still think it’s a great book, but I did subtract a rating point because of the misleading content. I can’t say much more without spoiling, but I will say I am surprised by how the book ends, and that certain elements are left to a (possible?) sequel.
Notes on the Names: Beautiful character names! Oliver has a brother whose middle name is Ignatius and he calls April ‘Rose,’ which is a very sweet detail. Bernadette is a name I just adore, I only wish it had a more appealing and feminine meaning.
Thoughts on the Cover: I don’t like the cover any more because I think it is very missleading and I was so dissappointed that the ‘rowing on a lake’ scene never happens in the book! I prefer the windswept beach scene and wish mine was a hardcover.