Gilly Soloman has been reduced to a mothering machine, taking care of everyone and everything except herself. But the machine has broken down. Burnt out by the endless days of crying children and menial tasks, and exhausted from always putting herself last, Gilly doesn’t immediately consider the consequences when she’s carjacked. With a knife to her throat, her first thought is that she’ll finally get some rest. Someone can save her for a change.
But salvation isn’t so forthcoming. Stranded in a remote, snowbound cabin with this stranger, hours turn to days, days into weeks. As time forges a fragile bond between them, she learns her captor is not the lunatic she first believed, but a human being whose wasted life has been shaped by secrets and tragedy. Yet even as their connection begins to foster trust, Gilly knows she must never forget he’s still a man teetering on the edge. One who just might take her with him.
While out with her children one day Gilly makes a decision that will change her life. She gets out of the car to go to the ATM and doesn’t take her kids with her. They’ve been crying and they’re whiney and it’s cold out and she just needs a moment of peace. She can see them, they’re fine. No harm, no foul. But after getting into the car and starting to drive in the busy parking lot she’s carjacked by a man with a knife who slides into her passenger seat. Later she finds out that he chose her because he didn’t know she had the kids with her because he was watching her at the bank. Simple decision – life changing event.
Gilly manages to save her children but ends up with the carjacker. When Gilly has the opportunity to escape she doesn’t take it. She’s in shock, yes, but when she thinks of the chaos that her life has become, the silence of the moment overwhelms her and she chooses to stay in the car. The carjacker, Todd, takes her to a remote cabin where, because it’s winter in Pennsylvania, it snows…and snows, and snows. Gilly and Todd are stuck in the cabin for 3 months with Gilly knowing that she will eventually have to get away and Todd knowing that he can never let her leave.
This is an incredible story of choices and how they affect our lives. The decisions we make, in times of depression, shock or silence in Gilly’s case, can change our lives in the most profound ways. I have to admit to thinking that Gilly was nuts. Like, really nuts. Certifiable. Why the hell would she not get away when she could? Go home, tell your loving yet oblivious husband that you are on the edge of going a little bit crazy and work out your life, do what you need to do. It seemed so simple to me, but that’s not what happens. When Gilly gets to the cabin she realizes what a complete and total idiot she’s been but she can’t change what’s happened. And after three months in a cabin alone with someone that you can’t bring yourself to totally hate what do you do? Another choice has to be made. I also found myself drawn into Todd and his poor sad life but yet couldn’t get over the fact that he didn’t plan on letting Gilly go.
The “relationship” between Todd and Gilly is a strange one. I don’t want to go into any detail because the story as it reveals itself is part of the attraction of this book. The pacing is slow (which really took some getting used to), but it’s meant to be that way to show you the day to day reality of Gilly and Todd alone in a remote cabin with no electricity and only themselves for company. The hope and the hopelessness, alternating back and forth, of the situation is what kept me turning page after page. The author leaves you in complete suspense as to the outcome of the story and you really have no idea how Gilly is going to get out of the situation and how it will end. When all was revealed I was quite surprised and found myself crying. It was pretty powerful.
This is not a romance. It’s a book about choices and how they can change our lives. It’s a story about seeing your life for what it really is and appreciating it for all of its quirks, difficulties, stresses and the chaos that it may become at times. This book focuses on Gilly and the stresses in her life with her kids and her husband but I don’t think that someone would need to have kids to understand. Job stress, marital issues, health issues, financial problems – these are all problems that life can throw at us and sometimes we just need to hang it all up for a while. It’s a book that I definitely recommend.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I received this book from the publisher for review.
I'm so glad you reviewed this book. I love Megan Hart's writing– she has such a talent for writing really thought provoking stories. I'll definitely be reading this one.
Merry Christmas! xoxo
You know my thoughts — it is really one of my true favorites — dealing with life and real situations that we often don't want to think about.
Also, many, many thanks for being the guest blogger at Dr. J's Book Place. It was delightful and I hope you will do it again soon.
Love and kisses . . . Mom
A near perfect read for me, if only Megan didn't have to justify Todd's action with the shocking reveal regarding his mother and uncle.
But overall, one of my favorite reads this year.
Fantastic review Tracy – thank you. I really want to read this, particular after seeing this in your review:
It’s a book about choices and how they can change our lives. It’s a story about seeing your life for what it really is and appreciating it for all of its quirks, difficulties, stresses and the chaos that it may become at times.
Christine – Merry Christmas to you too sweetie!
Yes, Hart does write deep, though provoking books and this one is no different. Really good.
Dr. J – It's a situation I would have never dreamed of even wanting to read about but Hart made it so real and so good.
KB – I think that just showed us one more instance in his life that was completely screwed up. Maybe to make him think even more strongly about why he had gone to the cabin in the first place? (Sorry, I don't want to give any spoilers away! lol)
Orannia – It really does make you think about your life and what's important to you. I'd love to hear what you thought about the book.
Sounds interesting and good to know it's not a romance.
Merry Christmas, Tracy! I hope you'll have a wonderful time with your loved ones. xoxo
Hope you've had a lovely day with your family!!
I love this author – everything she does works for me on some level..
I have this one to get through – I have to shore up my emotional defences first though as she does demand I break out the tissues at some point…
Love the review..