SHORT & SWEET REVIEW: COME AWAY WITH ME BY KARMA BROWN

Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet). 

The Eat Pray Love connection on the front cover caught my attention, so I bumped this book along the review shelf and into my hands earlier than planned. Here’s the blurb:

One minute, Tegan Lawson has everything  she could hope for: an adoring husband, Gabe,  and a baby on the way. The next, a patch of  black ice causes a devastating accident that  will change her life in ways she never could  have imagined.

Tegan is consumed by grief—not to mention her anger toward Gabe, who was driving on the night of the crash. But just when she thinks she’s hit rock bottom, Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity, a collection of their dream destinations and experiences, and so begins an adventure of a lifetime.

From the bustling markets of Thailand to the flavours of Italy to the ocean waves in Hawaii, Tegan and Gabe embark on a journey to escape the tragedy and search for forgiveness. But they soon learn that grief follows you no matter  how far away you run, and that acceptance comes when you least expect it. Heartbreaking, hopeful and utterly transporting, Come Away with Me is an unforgettable debut and a luminous celebration of the strength of the human spirit.

Come Away With Me is a moving story that takes readers on a journey through emotions, good and bad. I found it hard to put down, so caught up was I in the story of a couple trying to live with the tragic direction their life together has taken. Author Karma Brown builds in themes of love, loss, starting over, grief, depression, acceptance and much more, through the couple’s adventures overseas. Her writing shows insight, sensitivity and compassion, much-needed qualities for a story in which the key characters not only lose their unborn child, but find themselves unable to have any more children. It’s heartbreaking subject matter and readers will probably join Tegan in wondering how travelling overseas can possibly be of any help. Watch out for the big twist – it’s well done. The clues are there, and a couple of things did make me wonder as I read – when I got to the big reveal it all came clear.

The storyline is reminiscent of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love in so far as the protagonists decide to travel to three places (Gilbert in real life travelled to Italy, India and Bali, while Tegan and Gabe go to Italy, Thailand and Waikiki) in search for self-forgiveness, inner strength, and a way to live with losses in their lives. However, as fiction, Come Away With Me isn’t likely to get hit with the self-indulgent tag often applied to Gilbert’s memoir. A lovely read, Come Away With Me is a solid debut and I look forward to more from this author.

Available from good bookstores. My copy was courtesy of Harlequin Australia.  Visit this site to read an extract.