Title: Everything We Left Behind
Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Genre: Romance and Mystery Fiction
What it’s about: James Donato wakes up from a fugue state, as a result of several circumstances explained throughout the book. He realizes that he is the father of two boys, and was a well known and respected painter in Mexico. At first, James attempts to return to California, his hometown, but realizes that his life is still in danger when his cousin Phil is released from prison, and also that he cannot live in the same city as the love of his life, Aimee, without wanting her. So he makes a choice to move his sons to Hawaii, where they would be loved, looked after, and kept safe under their half-aunt’s care.
Along the way, James and Carlos (his fugue state personality) share the stories of their hopes, dreams and come to terms with their past as well as their future. Together, and separately, they find their way back to what is most important–being a good father to his sons, falling in love, and learning to forgive.
My Verdict: I had hopes for Aimee and James, because I am a sucker for true love outlasts everything stories; however, this may or may not be true for this book (not revealing this). In the end, as the story developed, I began to accept why things turn out the way that they do between Aimee and James in this book. Kerry masterfully weaves the stories from Carlos in the past, with the stories from James in the present, showing how Carlos feared for his sons, and juxtaposing James willingness to step up to the role of fatherhood even though he has no recollection of the years as Carlos. In the end, James comes around to loving and caring for his sons, and finding his own path in love. Perhaps most importantly, he learns to forgive his family for the situation that they put him, and their abuse. He also makes amends with Phil, because he begins to remember what really had transpired the day that he had lost himself to the dissociative fugue.
I enjoyed this second book in the series, and recommend that you read it alongside the first.
Now, on to the third.