Some books just leave me awestruck. Why? Either because they are poorly written or they're just freaking AMAZING. I Couldn't Love You More by Jillian Medoff is freaking AMAZING!! I have to admit that the first 100 pages left me wondering, "Where is this going? What's the hook?" Once it got going, I was hooked. I read the last 250+ pages in two hours. I liken the last half of the book to potato chips, you just can't stop at a page or two. I had to keep going. I was not going to bed until I finished the book.
In a split second anything can happen. In an instant you can make a mistake that can alter your life forever. Does it make you a bad person? Or does it just make you human? It seems like some of the characters in this book are afraid to be human. They're afraid to show their weaknesses. They have to be strong for everyone.
Eliot Gordon is trying to be supermom with a full-time job to boot. She and her partner/boyfriend/faux husband, Grant Delaney, are living the American Dream. They're not married but they sure act like it. Their blended family of his two daughters, Charlotte and Gail, and Grant and Eliot's daughter Hailey is a work in progress. Hailey adores her parents and sisters. She doesn't know any other way. But Charlotte and Gail are different. Grant took custody after his divorce, leaving the girls caught between two worlds.
Charlotte and Gail are Eliot's stepdaughters, but she doesn't see it that way. She loves them unconditionally. She takes them to school, makes their dinner, looks out for their well-being, and gives advice even when they don't want it. At 7 years old, it's easy for Gail to connect with Eliot, but 14-year-old Charlotte is the typical moody teenager. Their mother, Beth, isn't dead but she is flaky when it comes to parenting. She would rather put more energy into her fledgling career as an artist. It doesn't matter how many times Eliot has come through for them and their mother hasn't, they will always love and support Beth. Charlotte is only too happy to remind Eliot who her mother is.
When Eliot isn't busy trying to be supermom she is trying to figure out her relationships with her mother and sisters, Sylvia and Maggie. Sylvia is a wisecracking, hypochondriac. I could read a book just based on her character alone. She does her best to make every situation about her. And just when you've become so annoyed with her character that you want to slap her, Sylvia does something amazing and selfless.
Eliot and Grant have a deep passion for each other. They can argue over having to support Beth financially one minute and then be in a deep embrace the next. They don't ever seem angry at each other. They're always supportive of each other. What is stopping them from taking the plunge into marriage? Eliot doesn't want to admit it but an unfinished relationship with Finn Montgomery haunts her constantly. When the chance arises to resolve it, Eliot is conflicted. They're just talking. It's just coffee at a local cafe. It's just a few long stares. It's all very innocent. Is it? But can't an emotional affair be just as dangerous as an a physical one. The consequences can be the same. Eliot gets so distracted by Finn, she becomes a distracted parent. She forgets her responsibilities.
The consequences for Eliot are dire. I don't want to give away too much, but Eliot does have to make a tough choice. A choice that forces her to choose between her girls. Who can choose when you love them all. Will people understand? Will Grant understand? Will Grant hate her? Is she a bad mother for choosing one child over the other? If you've seen the movie Sophie's Choice, you will understand what I'm hinting at!!!
I couldn't love this book more. Everyone can see some part of their own family in these characters. Like most people they are flawed, intelligent, funny, and emotional.
Rating: O.M.G. !!!
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Grand Central Publishing) at the request of KMSPR