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Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.
First of all, I have to admit the main reason I bought this book - and paid full price - was because Rachel Coker was a teen author, and you all know what that means to me. However, as a Christian writer published with Zondervan, I knew her book had to be pretty good and definitely my taste.
I enjoyed the story and the characters, and it was a good read. It wasn't the huge, heavy, deep read some might expect from a book involving death. Neither was it a light, easy breeze-through-it-during-summer-vacation kind of book. Really, it was a simply story about faith and love and not letting bitterness or fear take over your life.
This is one book where, honestly, while I liked the story, I didn't really care for the main character. Allie is harsh and critical of others and can have a very narrow point of view sometimes. I'm a subscriber to Rachel's blog, so I know Allie was written that way on purpose, but those kind of characters just don't win my heart.
Sam, on the other hand... oh, Sam. :) Sam was so amazing and awesome and perfect. Loyal, sweet, gentle, undemanding, Sam knew when to push Allie and when to step back. He knew when she needed space or time and when was the right time to talk to her. And he was so patient. Did I mention loyal? Because I really don't want anyone to miss that bit.
I loved the ending. I won't spoil anything, but let's say the World War II setting definitely allows for a beautiful, sweet ending to a beautiful, sweet book.
Other than Allie, there was really just two things I didn't like, and they're little things. I felt like the book was a little too short or undeveloped somehow. The problem is, I can't really put my finger on when, or why, or how. It's just a gut feeling that kept skittering back while I was reading.
My third and final problem with the book is not with the book itself - it's with the back cover copy. After reading the book description (see above, first paragraph, "From Amazon"), I was expecting the kind of book where either (a) You open on the girl when she's young, see the mother's death in one chapter, and then the story really gets going when you fast-forward to her grown-up (or mostly) self; or (b) You open on the (almost, in this case) adult main character and learn, through flashbacks or memories or other little bits and pieces what happened in her past. With either beginning, you then spend the rest of the book watching boy and girl interact until they finally get over what happened in the past and live happily ever after. Regular readers of romance know what I'm talking about. While there's nothing wrong with the more evenly paced, autobiographical style of Interrupted, the story and the back cover copy don't quite match up.