These Numbered Days by Anna E. Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What does it mean to stay?
Annie Wolff has returned to Snohomish after eight years to make sure that her now-teenage children, Connor and Grace, are doing okay and are being taken care of by their aunt and uncle after the death of their father. She plans to quietly check on them, and then just as quietly leave--but her plans are thrown into disarray when Connor confronts her and asks her to stay.
So she stays, while planning to leave again. Yet the longer she stays, the more she finds that the picture-perfect family she'd always imagined for her estranged family is far from the truth. And the more secrets she uncovers, the more she realises that as broken as she is, she may still be the best person to take care of her children.
These Numbered Days is a story about living with depression. There's a bleakness that seeps out of Annie's point of view, revealing the dark days of her past. There's a sense of hopelessness, of knowing that this curse runs through the women in her family, and the expectation that one day it's going to take over Annie's life as well and there is nothing she can do to stop it.
And yet, it's also a story of hope and grit. Of fighting for better days, fighting for herself and for her family. It isn't a smooth journey. With every step forward comes a new setback. But with every setback, Annie finds a new way forward--with the support of her children and her landlord, Wic Dubray.
What I loved most about this book was the family dynamics. It isn't perfect--in fact, many times, it feels like they just keep breaking apart. But there is a raw honesty in how they try to reconnect with each other despite their hurts and imperfections. I'm a fan of second chances and third chances and all the chances--and this story is really about that: finding the strength to forgive and support each other, not holding their past failures against them.
I wasn't so stoked on the romance, but that was mostly because I'm just going meh, does there really need to be a romance? Must she really have a man in her life to be complete?
Yet the truth is, she doesn't have to do it alone.
You don't have to be perfect to stay.
Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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