Colleen Hoover 2016
SPOILERS AND POTENTIAL TRIGGERS BELOW. SAFE TO READ UNTIL THE WARNING.
Lily Bloom (middle name Blossom) has moved from Plethora, Maine to Boston. In what feels like a cliche romance she meets a dreamy doctor and makes a brand new rich best friend while opening a florist shop.
Lily had a difficult childhood. She coped by writing in her diary (in the form of letters to Ellen DeGeneres), and through those diary flashbacks we meet the requisite troubled man from her past.
The writing isn’t great.
***************SPOILERS AND TRIGGERS BELOW*****************
But here’s what’s interesting: alongside the awkward, juvenile prose and contrived romantic situations there is some sensitive writing about domestic abuse. Lily’s father beat her mother, who stayed with him, and soon after Lily and Ryle are married the pattern continues.
The difference in writing styles is noticeable; we’re rolling our eyes at the main character “fake crying” to express frustration, and a few pages later we’re presented with insightful analogies and thoughtful treatment of the conundrum that is Lily’s marriage. I’m not an expert in domestic abuse situations, and it’s entirely possible that Hoover’s treatment of the Ryle character’s relationship with Lily is as unrealistic as the rest of the book, but I can at least say that the writing is better here than at the beginning of the story. Props to the author for keeping me reading in spite of myself.
At the back of the Scribd ebook there are links to resources for domestic abuse victims and to music created for this book but the link to the music takes me to Colleen Hoover’s website, and I don’t see a music link anywhere. Maybe you’ll have better luck.