In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long
Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in exchange for a review.
Summary: A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace
At the heart of the seemingly perfect Tyler family stands sixteen-year-old Leah. Her proud parents are happily married, successful professionals. Her adoring younger sister is wise and responsible beyond her years. And Leah herself is a talented athlete with a bright collegiate future. But living out her father’s lost dreams, and living up to her sister’s worshipful expectations, is no easy task for a teenager. And when temptation enters her life in the form of drugs, desire, and a dangerously exciting boy, Leah’s world turns on a dime from idyllic to chaotic to nearly tragic.
As Leah’s conflicted emotions take their toll on those she loves—turning them against each other and pushing them to destructive extremes—In Leah’s Wake powerfully explores one of fiction’s most enduring themes: the struggle of teenagers coming of age, and coming to terms with the overwhelming feelings that rule them and the demanding world that challenges them. Terri Giuliano Long’s skillfully styled and insightfully informed debut novel captures the intensely personal tragedies, victories, and revelations each new generation faces during those tumultuous transitional years.
Review: A story about a family nearly broken apart by tragedy.
In Leah's Wake is certainly a roller coaster ride. There are so many times when you think the Tyler family might be ok, but so many other times when you wonder if they will ever be the same. This book demonstrates the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Leah's parents did have her best interests at heart (or at least they thought they did), but didn't stop to think about Leah's needs, dreams, and aspirations. While I am not a parent, I know what it's like when children don't turn out as you expected and the heartache that comes along with it.
I was prepared to hate Leah. I was expecting someone who was selfish, only cared about her own needs, and thought she knew best. Leah has all of those traits, but is so much more. She wants what she thinks is best, but truly wants to be loved by her family and for them to be reunited again. Leah and her whole family are expects at planning to do one thing and saying something completely different. I don't always understand Leah's motivations, but I am glad that she finally reunites with her family.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy family based fiction.