Also by this author: , ,
I had a perfect life.
The loving husband, the sweet little boy, I even had the white picket fence.
If someone took a picture of my family, I’d be the epitome of what they envisioned for themselves. I’d smile for the camera, laugh when it was appropriate and carried on with my life like there wasn’t anything wrong.
I was happy.
But it was all a lie.
Everything I knew or believed was a lie. I wasn’t happy. I was broken despite having everything anyone could ever want. I’d lay awake imagining a world where it would all vanish. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel so alone.
To the outside world, I had the perfect life.
But inside all I had were fragments of what I used to be.
A loving husband, a sweet little boy, and a white picket fence.
My life was perfect.
But it was all a lie.
The perfect life always seems appealing from the outside, but what if that façade is nothing more than an act to get through the day? Stephanie had a life that anyone would be envious of, but none of it was fulfilling. While Stephanie should be enjoying motherhood, she was dreading each moment that she endured life with her husband. Then a tragedy altered the course of her life.
One moment drove Stephanie to despair, causing the mother to flee the place she called home for so many years. With her soul in tattered shreds, Stephanie finds herself moving every year and starting over time and again. Four years pass faster than Stephanie could imagine. The time arrived to head home to Savannah to pick up the pieces of the life that this mother once called ‘home’.
Raising her son is the most important thing in Stephanie’s life, the ups and downs of raising a child a constant worry to the single mother. A childhood mishap lands the two in the ER. That event would set in motion the entrance of Dr. Luke into the lives of Stephanie and her son. Dr. Luke is patient and kind, but determined to let Stephanie lead their pending romance, a man that anyone would adore, but Stephanie is still cautious. Luke is the one person that finally worked his way through the walls around Stephanie’s heart. Then one moment alters everything…..a revelation that changes the events that led Stephanie to flee all those years ago.
The Perfect Life is a non-traditional romance by author Callie Anderson. It is the type of story that you want to dive head first into, uncovering the events that give us a second chance romance unlike any other. The main character – Stephanie – possesses the ‘secret’ thoughts many women face when becoming a mother, a realistic view that life after marriage and a baby isn’t always sunshine and roses.
While I was intrigued by the plot of this story, I found it not as fulfilling as I had hoped. There were so many parts of this tale that were repetitive and not fleshed out to the fullest. The ‘meat and potatoes’ of the plot were amazing; the execution just didn’t pan out as easily. While I found myself whole-heartedly invested in the promise of a new beginning for Stephanie and her son, the story lacked the ability to hold my attention as a reader.
There is a flip-flop throughout the story from past to present that oftentimes fails to clarify points in the story at the right moments. The history is there, but the execution wasn’t always timed at the right moments, leaving a lot of repetitive thoughts in the first quarter of the book. There are choices that Stephanie makes that some may not agree with in this sordid tale, but they would have been more effective with more details. I think the intent was there, but not the believability. More often than not, the story felt rushed towards an ending.
While I have adored the writing of Callie Anderson in the past, this novel just didn’t live up to the expectations that I have in regards to the author’s writing in her backlist. When I find myself skimming during what should be the climax of a story….well….it tends to speak for itself. Although this book didn’t stand up to my scrutiny, I will continue to check out the musings from Anderson. Hopefully – the next novel will be of the caliber that her first books exuded.