To summary this in one paragraph would be impossible. There were a few bits that niggled me (listed in the cons sections below), but due to the fact I believe I am to blame on part for those, for not having read any earlier titles in the series, rather than the author, I decided it would be wrong to hold that against my rating–because once I’d figured out the who’s who, the author pretty much had me hooked. See below for more details:
*WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS*
What bugged me:
The opening bothered me. The first person writing, giving a rundown (or a recap) of the main characters of the book. 1) It jarred my flow when it suddenly then switched to third person from three differing POV’s. 2) I’d much rather have learned about them as I went through, but that’s probably just me. But, when I reached the end and discovered a closing summary written in exactly the same style as the opening, I then wondered if this might be a quirk/tradition of the series, which I might have got had I read the preceding titles.
Also, because there were three differing POV’s, and I wasn’t familiar with the characters from not having read the earlier books, it then took me to around 12% to keep up with which character/personality I was dealing with each time the switch was made.
What I loved:
Well, I pretty much loved everything else. This is possibly one of the most beautiful yet saddest stories I have read in a very long time. From beginning to end. Yes, the three ladies were ‘lost’ before the pinnacle moment of the tale that pretty much pushed them all over the edge. But it took something as devastatingly shocking as that occurrence for them to realise exactly what they had but had just forgotten was there. I suspected from the off that Tibby hadn’t committed the suicide the other three had (in their grief and frustration and desperation) believed of her. I suspected, in fact, pretty early on that a terminal illness would be to blame.
However, I never once predicted the possibility of a child for her, or pretty much anything that followed.
The only outcome I guessed correctly was the inevitable one (to me) for Lena and the man she’d never quite fallen out of love with. I prayed and prayed the entire way through that they would find their way to each other. Thank you so much for delivery of that because I doubt I’d have forgiven the author had it ended differently for them.
Carmen’s path: I hoped she wouldn’t go through with the wedding, yet some little part of me worried the whole way through that she might. Then her train journey pretty much undid me, her interactions with the father she met and how they somehow connected. Although it didn’t happen in this book, I’d like to think they might one day speak again.
Bridget: Damn, that was one lost and fragile woman. And God bless that beautiful man of hers for forever being there for her. I almost felt proud of her during the moment when she finally figured out what her heart needed again.
And then back to Tibby: Tibby who knew them all so well that she understood what they needed way more than they knew themselves.
I’ve seriously never cried quite so much. For around the final 40% of the novel, there must have been something wrong with my Kindle, because the words were constantly blurry. ;o) This is quite possible the most moving story of self discovery I’ve ever read. Just beautiful.