My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love Eli Easton. I love her when she is doing sweetness, light and fun and I love her when she goes more serious and give us depth and emotional turmoil. And this one is probably her darkest, most melancholy story yet.
Both of our MCs are haunted by emotional wounds. Josh is 18, left adrift when his mother dies suddenly of a brain aneurism, homeless and all alone in the world he just gives up. He decides to travel to New England to watch the fall leaves his mother always wanted them to go see and then end it all. He has nothing left to live for.
Mark is in his twenties. A former marine, broken by his experiences in Afghanistan, working as a handyman in a small village in The White Mountains. Closeted to his large family and plagued by nightmares and loneliness.
He discovers Josh sleeping under a bridge outside his cabin one night and end up giving him a sleeping bag. Coffee and breakfast. A job and place to sleep.
The relationship between the two move slowly and organically. Josh is seesawing between despair and hope through most of the story and it is not a light read. His mother is so much a part of him, that she walks beside him and talks to him often, but not really offering the advice and words he needs.
Even if we all see it coming, the last couple of chapters are still hard to push through. There was definite ugly crying for my part. But thank you god, Ms. Easton gives us a lovely epilogue, which makes all that melancholy lift and leaves us with hope instead.