Book Review: Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My Rating: 4/5

The Blurb: Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.

Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.

Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.

Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.

My Review: Having read and fallen in love with both Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo last year; I decided to read Taylor Jenkins Reid backlist. This is the 5th TJR book I’ve read in the last 12 months so clearly she is doing something right.

A quick read that flowed beautifully, Forever Interrupted is a bittersweet, somewhat romantic story about loss, grief and healing. Written in alternate parts – before and after the loss of Elsie’s new husband, Ben – the two stories connected seamlessly. The ‘before’ storyline showcasing the whirlwind romance between Elsie and Ben…oh my gosh!!!….while the ‘after’ delved into the devastating loss….not just Elsie’s but also Ben’s mother…..and subsequent rebuilding of a life. I’m not much of a crier in books but I definitely needed the tissues during this one.

Putting myself in Elsie’s shoes, losing her soulmate just 9 days after marrying him…and dealing not just with that loss but the loss of her expected future….the dreams of growing old together, of having children and grandchildren….left me more emotional than I expected to be. Her uncertainty when faced with meeting Ben’s mother and having to explain who she was to Ben was more than anyone could be expected to handle well. Was she entitiled to these feeling of bereavement having only known Ben for 6 months when she compared herself to the woman who had given birth to him? How could she prove how much Ben meant to her?

I’ve been reading a selection of twistier books lately and so was waiting for a twist that never came. I didn’t trust the mother in law, Susan, throughout most of the story but thankfully this was not that kind of book.

Susan and Elsie grieved together…and holding on to each other…virtual strangers but also family….proving that time means nothing when the feelings are real. And they were…oh so real!

TJR has a talent for creating raw emotional stories with beautifully written, honest and relatable characters. Forever Interrupted has proven to be my favourite of her earlier novels of the ones I have read so far. I’m looking forward to reading the final 2 – One True Loves and Evidence of the Affair during 2020.

Side note: I loved that both Ben and Elsie were readers….while not essential to a good novel, I love it when characters love books as much as I do. Elsie was a librarian while Ben loved to read YA novels….but only if they were bought brand new. I agree with Ben about the smell of library books…even though I used to work in the library I still prefer brand new books too…books without squished unidentifiable food particles inside.

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