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Melissa Foster does not write ordinary books! This is a story about love, loss, gruelling pain– emotionally and physically, grief, feelings of betrayal and then overcoming all these emotions in circumstances few of us could comprehend and would hope to never have to deal with. I never imagined how this story would play out.

Tess and Beau are a married couple in their thirties who are very much in love. They have lived by Beau’s 5 year plan which is designed to allow him to develop his career, and then start a family.

Beau  is a professional photographer who has been offered a follow-up job to go back to Iraq to take photos depicting Iraqi families and how the war has impacted them.

Fearful for his safety, Tess does not want him to go, but he is determined, certain that everything will be fine. He promises he will come back to her and she clings to that promise. Tess discovers she is pregnant shortly after he leaves; an unplanned event and definitely not part of the 5 year plan.  She has put off telling Beau, not sure of how he will react.

They keep in contact every day by Skype. Then she does not hear from him for a few days.  She is informed that the helicopter he was on was shot down and no one survived. But she keeps checking in on Skype day after day, looking for a contact from him.

Tess refuses to accept that he is dead.  He promised he would come back and she clings to that promise, refusing to listen to family and friends who believe she is in denial.  She would know in her heart if he was gone. The months slip by and she clings to his promise, but after four months she meets someone else who she finds comfort in sharing time with.  After a long struggle within herself, she begins to accept him into her life; suffused with guilt and definitely reluctant to take this step.

I felt like I experienced every step of her grief. I cried with her and wished she could find peace.

The story moves between Tess at home in the US and Iraq. The reader learns that Beau is not dead, but so severally injured he may never make it home.  His love for Tess is his touchstone.  That is what keeps him going through all his fear, uncertainty and pain.

Ultimately Beau does make it home, and just when it seemed there would be the “happy ever after” ending, the plot took another dramatic twist. In the end all ended the way it had too–but my heart was wrenched-it didn’t end the way I had hoped it would all along.

To me this book is a reminder of the fact that no one individual is “an island”. Beau’s choice to go to Iraq, set up circumstances that would create a domino effect in the lives of every one involved in and around his life.

To say I became emotionally involved is an understatement. I couldn’t stop the tears when I told my husband what it was about! And today, a few weeks later,I still can’t talk about this book without crying.  It happened again today as I was telling my granddaughter.

Melissa Foster’s writing has an incredible maturity and she has a gift of understanding humanity and creating characters that are just plain outstanding.  In my estimation, while I loved her other books “COME BACK TO ME” was even better, and from my humble point of view this is “big” movie material.

I recommend this book to everyone! 5 out of 5 from me.

you’ll find Melissa Foster at http://www.melissafoster.com/

So settle in for a great read and keep a box of Kleenex near by! Guaranteed you’ll need them.

Here’s my toast to you! Enjoy.