This is one of the best books I have EVER read. It’s been days since I finished and I haven’t been able to bring myself to even open another book. Massive book hangover! I am so incredibly in love with this book!
In The Stillness is a fabulously written, thought provoking, emotional, heart-wrenchingly beautiful story about love, loss, grief, forgiveness, and healing.
It is Natalie’s story. Natalie is a wife and the mother of young twin boys. She had plans, goals, and dreams of a life traveling, learning, and experiencing new things. That all changed when she got pregnant. Now Natalie is struggling day to day with a life she never wanted and issues unresolved from the past.
I dread the thought of going to bed right now, to lie next to the man I once cautiously planned a future with in my head before one was planned for us.
This book is told all in Natalie’s perspective, but alternates from present time to flashbacks of Natalie’s past. The flow and transitions were handled flawlessly. It added so much to the story and was effortless. Every piece of the story being revealed at exactly the perfect moment. The past moments mostly revolve around her college romance with the love of her life, Ryker who got deployed by the National Guard shortly after 9/11.
God, I miss you.
I love you so much, Natalie, and when I get home I’m going to keep loving you until you tell me to stop. But don’t, please. Don’t tell me to stop.
I love you.
I felt so many intense emotions while reading this book. For one, the love Ryker and Natalie shared, I just felt it. To me, it is one of those love stories that can’t even be explained, it just is. You just know that these two characters are meant to be together.
Natalie has so much built up guilt, pain, and anger that it becomes unbearable and she seeks release the only way she knows how. Cutting. This isn’t something I know much about, but the way it is described in the book was so well executed. I could understand Natalie and her intense need to cut.
The pain felt strangely good. I controlled it. It felt like the only thing in my life I could control inside that moment.
I really understood Natalie, and could appreciate her as a character. She may not be the most likeable person in the beginning, but she is real. Real isn’t always pretty or happy, it can be ugly and depressing. We got to hear every guilty thought, every unspeakable thing that crossed her mind. I think that’s why I loved her, because it was just her raw, uncensored self that we were able to see. The author was able to make me love a character so completely broken. So completely different from me, in her actions, in her wants, everything. But I was still able to identify with her in some way, that’s remarkable.
There is so much to this story that I didn’t tell you, but that’s the point, for you to find out for yourself. But I can tell you that it has a gorgeous hero and love story, a few twists/shocks, a freaking awesome best friend (absolutely LOVE Tosha), and an incredible story of healing. Although this is quite an intense, dark read, it is very uplifting as well. By the end I was so overwhelmingly happy, I could not wipe the smile off my face.
I highly, highly, highly recommend this book. It is very different from anything I’ve read and touched me on such a deep level. It is also beautifully written and so well thought out. I am in awe of Andrea Randall for bringing this story to life.
“From the moment I saw you on the common, I knew I had to kiss you. And, the second I kissed you, I knew I could never let you go.”