~ The Blurb ~
A love beyond understanding, a loss unfathomable, a grief unbearable.
He was her anchor and hero, and in the blink of an eye he was gone. Emily Martin has spent the past ten years creating a life of comfort, but still being held back by the weight of the past. As a successful owner of a small gourmet food store in SoHo, her fierce independence is a brutal lesson learned as the result of a tragic loss in her youth.
But after years of giving away only pieces of her heart, Emily is beginning to realize that this leaves her with nothing in the end. For while love is fraught with risk, turning away from love may be the biggest risk of all…
Will Darcy once held the world and his future in the palm of his hand. Engaged to marry the love of his life and on the cusp of a brilliant financial career, he loses everything in a horrifying act of violence that still ripples through his life almost ten years later.
A shell of the man he once was, frozen in grief, he surrounds himself with the beautiful things she loved that only remind him of all that was lost. She was only feet away, but he could not save her. As life tumbles forward around him, Will has to make a decision—to live in the pain of the past or reach out to grasp a new chance at life and love.
Thrown together by fate, these two wounded souls in the heart of a wounded city must do what neither of them have done in years: open up and learn to love
~ My Thoughts ~
Ghosts of Our Pasts is an excruciatingly heartbreaking love story and an exploration of how one can begin to heal after a devastating loss. I wasn’t prepared when I started reading Ghosts of Our Pasts for the level of emotion that I was about to encounter, both from the characters and from what this novel stirred up in myself.
At first I really didn’t appreciate Will’s character. He was just too damaged and broken and it felt as though the “traumatized-shell-of-a-man” characterization was a bit overdone. I found that the first half of the novel moved a little slowly because there was so much explanation of how these characters were damaged (things they were afraid to do, their inability to commit to a relationship etc.) with no real reference to why they were so damaged. It wasn’t until I began to find out about their pasts that I really stared to care more about them. My thoughts on Will definitely changed in the second half of the novel, and I found myself much more interested in the characters. I was rooting for Will towards the end and every bit of progress that he made and every step that he got closer to Emily felt like a small victory.
Emily was also a difficult character to figure out. She was complex, and while on the surface she seemed sort of shallow and just not the kind of girl that I like to read about, it was evident that there was so much more going on beneath the surface. I did find myself to be interested in her character much quicker than Will. Perhaps it was because she was more of an open book. We knew at least a part of the reason why she acted the way she did, and through her interactions with her friend’s and brother we saw a little more of her than we did of the reclusive Will.
The storyline was absolutely perfect. It took a little while to get going there wasn’t much in the way of action, and that bothered me at the time that I was first reading the story but now that I have had time to reflect on it I can appreciate the pacing. As readers we got to know the characters at the same pace that we would if we were the ones meeting them in real life – and that rarely happens in novels. Leaning about Will and Emily was like peeling an onion, we slowly peeled one layer away at a time and it was absolutely the right thing to do with this story.
Sophia Duane definitely knows how to draw out the romantic tension! The romance between Will and Emily was definitely more of a slow smolder than a fiery romance, but this added to its believability. Emily and Will slowly got to know each other before any love began to bloom, but don’t let the innocence of their developing friendship fool you, it was wrought with tension. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat just waiting for something to happen, and when it did it was worth the wait!
If you are looking for an emotionally tense and simmering read you should definitely pick up Ghosts of Our Pasts. It is a contemporary fiction novel for our generation, and the perfect novel for a lazy summer weekend. This is a book to be savored, not rushed!
I received an e-book of Ghosts of Our Pasts from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
This guest post is being shared as a part of the Contemporary Month event being hosted by Evie at Bookish, Bonnie at Words at Home and Asheley at Into The Hall of Books. Click the banner below for full Words at Home schedule.