I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A few months ago, in one of my many perusings through Goodreads, I stumbled upon this book. I will full admit that I am a judge a book by its cover kind of gal. If the cover doesn’t attract me, I won’t go any further to read the synopsis, much less the book. Needless to say, this cover immediately grabbed my attention. Having lived in North Carolina my entire life, a quality I have in common with the author, I recognized the beautiful backdrop of the mountains. I’ve seen that view, felt and experienced it, and could sense in my soul that this book would be something magnificent. Something soul shattering, life affirming, and heart wrenchingly beautiful. I had high expectations.
Not only was I NOT disappointed, but it far exceeded every preconceived notion I may have formed. A fleeting thought in my scattered mind reminds me that this weakness is only temporary. I live each day just trying to cope, wanting to heal. I know this feeling of despair won’t last forever.
What I am about to reveal is NOT a spoiler. You find this information out in the first few pages. It will shape the rest of the book and would be impossible to go any further without discussing it. Searching for Tomorrow is about a widowed wife of a soldier, a single mother, a sister, and a friend. Barely functioning for the past three years, Wrynn isn’t living; she is merely surviving. This is a romance novel in its finest form, but not in the conventional way you may be used to.
Wrynn and Tripp have been together, be it friends or eventually husband and wife, since they were young kids. We alternate POV’s not between different characters, but different time frames. One part of the story is pre-Tripp’s death and the other is post-Tripp’s death. They are told simultaneously, and if you live books and characters as I do, be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. When both parts collide, one story ends and another begins. Butterflies, rage, shock, love, devastation, disgust, sympathy, hope. I experienced all of these and more; many at the same time! “You’ll see babe. This isn’t the beginning of the end. It’s just the beginning. I plan to shed tears with you, but only for the good things.”
There are basically four things allowing Wrynn to exist and trudge on; her three daughters, and her twin brother Liam. Wrynn’s daughters are the only bright spots in her otherwise dimly lit days. She is living in a haze, swallowed up and consumed by her overwhelming grief. Katie Mac writes with a fluidity that forces you to encompass these emotions right along with Wrynn. This isn’t just a story about Wrynn, it is a story about you. Searching for Tomorrow will make you take a long hard look in the mirror and question everything. Am I doing enough good in this world? What if I lost my spouse? How would I go on each day living? What would I do if my kids had to grow up without a father? Could I be doing more? Do I tell close friends and family how much I appreciate them and love them enough? I looked into the eyes of my future, and knew that tomorrow would only get better from here.
Searching for Tomorrow contains some HEAVY material. Parts won’t be easy to read, especially knowing from the beginning what will happen eventually. I came to the realization when it was all over that even knowing the final outcome doesn’t lessen the journey. If anything, knowing ahead of time what was coming only heightened every experience for me. I zoned in more to little details, treasured each heartwarming moment, for which this book was chock FULL of! The hard truths of this story, however, are very real for many, many families. Having never been through anything remotely close to what these characters go through makes no difference in understanding the depths and range of emotions that they feel. I was able to sympathize and rejoice along with them on a purely human level. When Wrynn cried, I cried. When she felt joy, I felt it too. And when all hope was lost, I felt despair the likes of which I’ve never experienced before. As they wrapped tightly around me, one distinct thought passed through my mind. Home. No matter where we were, or where life took us, when I was in his arms, I was home.
The love that Tripp and Wrynn share is so pure. If I had to think of one word to describe it, that would be it. From decisions they make before they are married, to having the girls, to be separated during deployments. Their proposal? Oh, just you wait. Katie describes every detail of that day so well you can literally smell every flower, feel every drop of mist from the falls, and taste each kiss. There is realism in her imagery that comes from someone who has had these experiences, or in the least been to these locations. She allows you to visit the beautiful mountains of North Carolina without ever having to leave your house. These two LIVE for each other, heart and soul. It is hard to tell where one begins and one ends. This is glaringly evident in every scene they are in, whether it be together or apart.
There is one other important man in Wrynn’s life that I haven’t mentioned yet; her twin brother Liam. While Tripp is the main man in her life in one part of the story, Liam is the man in the other. The relationship between these two will make your heart melt! The protectiveness, the fight, the undying love, the friendship, these two have it all. When Wrynn falls, Liam is there to catch her. He brings a sense of normality to her otherwise chaotic and lifeless existence. There is a delicious side story going on with Liam. While we only see bits and pieces of it, have no fear. There will be a second book for him soon.When you kiss them goodnight, my lips will touch yours. When you hold them close, my arms will embrace you. The wind in your hair will be my fingers running through it. The warmth of the sun will be my love shining down.
Searching for Tomorrow is a story that everyone should read. No, not should read, NEEDS to read! It would be impossible to pigeonhole this novel into one genre for it spans across many, combining truths known to many. Katie has woven a tale that will touch so many hearts, young and old alike, no matter their road in life. It brings validity to the belief that there is hope to find your everlasting love; no matter how old you are, no matter what life throws at you. Things may happen in your life that at the time bear no rhyme or reason, but hold out hope, because even in your darkest moments, it is still possible to find your happily ever after. I don’t cry too often while reading books, but this one brought me to tears multiple times, both happy and sad. Adjectives haven’t yet been invented that can adequately describe how I feel about it! To give this book 5 stars would be doing it a disservice, for it deserves so much more. I am going to give it 10 stars. My first ever ‘so nice I rated it twice’ book. A truly phenomenal read by debut author Katie Mac, I lovingly anticipate her future releases. Well done ma’am, well done.
It’s hard to search for tomorrow when you are still living for yesterday. Sometimes you have to accept that today is all that is guaranteed.