Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: January 2016
Format: Paperback, 512 pgs
Ally and Charlotte are not supposed to meet under any circumstances, not when they had an unpleasant exchanges over a guy back during their university days, and definitely not at the same hospital where their husbands are being admitted under emergency circumstances.
David, who is Charlotte's husband, used to date Ally then. Despite different personalities, David and Ally loved each other and they were very happy. Charlotte came between them unexpectedly and unintentionally after she shared the same dorm with David and two of his friends. Although Charlotte knew of their relationship, she couldn't help being attracted by David all over again. She first met David when she was seventeen; it wasn't a pleasant encounter considering they'd almost died in a skiing accident but David's bravery and his looks are forever etched in Charlotte's mind all the way towards adulthood. When David and Ally broke up due to lesser time together and some misunderstandings, Charlotte ended up getting her dream man and married him eventually. They are happy but Charlotte always have this fear that David might go back to Ally if they have the chance to meet again.
Ally is devastated over her husband's accident. On top of the bad news, the least person she wants to meet is having to face Charlotte in person after all these years. Despite the awkwardness, Ally and Charlotte share the same grief and worry over their husbands' lives as both of them are in critical conditions. David suffered from a serious heart problem while Ally's husband, Joe, is unconscious after he had fell into a frozen lake while rescuing a dog. Charlotte and Ally might not be the best of friends right then, but this circumstances has brought them a chance to speak of the past while they waited for news of their husbands.
Told from Ally's and Charlotte's perspectives and with chapters alternating between the past and the present, this novel is about four different people and how one fateful night had decided their past, present and future. While this is a love story, there are also friendship and families elements which have made this book a moving read. What makes this book a worthy read to me is aside from the story, it is the author's ability of bringing her characters to life. Each of them is unique and memorable, but I have to say Joe is my favourite character among all. He is kind, funny and most of all, his selfless attitude which has not only won Abby's heart but mine as well.
While some of the premises aren't new, this book is still an absorbing read and will take you on an emotional roller-coaster 'ride'. I may have gone past the height of the intense emotions it had evoked in me, but it is the act of selfless love as well as hope that still lingers in my mind.