Jack McKenna is a man with two very distinct pasts. One ended with a car accident involving his girlfriend, Ally, and a split-second decision with horrific consequences. Desperate to escape the guilt, he carved out a new life for himself. Four years spent hiding in the shadows, punishing himself for not having the courage to go back to her. Then, out of the blue, a phone call forces him to face up to everything and everyone he left behind.
Ally Connor’s life was split in two – before the car accident that shattered her spine, and after Jack’s sudden disappearance. Abandoning her when she needed him most, she fought hard to make it back from the brink. The face she shows to the world is strong and courageous, but behind the mask, the pain is burrowing deeper.
But fate had more in store for these two broken souls than either could have imagined. A funeral, a homecoming and a journey of self-discovery that would change both their lives – if they let it.
Suddenly, the secrets they want to hide from each other are the very secrets that could make them whole again.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” –Khalil Gibran, Absolution, chapter 11.
Absolution is another of those gems that make reading such a beautiful experience. This book had great impact on me – it’s a very powerful story about forgiveness and about not letting the past define your present.
It’s a love story, but at the same time it’s so much more than that. It’s the story of three characters, Jack, Ally and Callum, whose lives change forever because of an unfortunate event…But when all seems lost, their inner strength and the desire to come out of the dark hole they’ve all found themselves into put their lives into rewind, and they see that nothing is impossible, when love and friendship is involved.
I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a love triangle. The main characters are two men and a woman, but the love story is Jack and Ally’s alone. This becomes immediately clear from the very first pages of the book.
I love Jack. He’s a very sweet soul, but he carries incredible guilt inside of him, and because of that he doesn’t feel worthy of love anymore. But Ally proves him wrong. She’s never stopped thinking about him, but she too thinks she won’t be lovable anymore. Her body has changed, and that has mined her self-esteem and cracked her hope…But their love is stronger than guilt and physical impediments, and they’ll prove it. Their journey is a truly incredible one, and the scenes where they are together are so full of emotion, that made me shed some (happy) tears.
“Slowly, he leaned towards her, eyeing her lips and yet pausing ever so briefly to gaze into her eyes, delving deeply, asking the silent question that she felt herself answering just as silently.”
Callum is such a wonderful character as well. He’s the friend that is always there for you, that gives you hope when you have none, that catches you when you’re about to fall. Throughout the story he’s a true beacon to both Jack and Ally.
“You are capable of so much more than you think you are, you always have been.”
I hope Amanda will write either a sequel or a spin off, because Callum deserves to find love too.
I loved each one of these characters – none of them is perfect, they all make their mistakes, but they acknowledge them, they learn life lessons from them and decide to face circumstances in a way that can serve as true example.
Absolution is a book for all those that, like me, like emotional and thought-provoking love stories. Love, forgiveness, and inner strength shine bright in this book.