February 10, 2014

The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James

This is a heavy novel.

A few trigger warnings: It deals with abuse and suicide. If you aren’t comfortable with either of those topics, this one isn’t for you.

This book follows the main character Harley as she progresses through her life and finding herself along the way.

It is more than just that, though. As a big picture, it seems to be about the three main women in the book finding themselves; Harley, Kat, and their mother.

Harley and Kat grew up in an abusive household.

Their father was a veteran and when he didn’t have a job to occupy his time, his mind would take over and he drank way too much and became mean and violent when he did so. Her mother couldn’t find it within herself to leave him and take Harley and Kat with her.

All Harley could dream about was getting out of that town after she graduated high school, and that is exactly what she did. She lived a gypsy life; never staying in one place long. It is easy to run when you don’t know what exactly you are running from.

She could never really get away from her town. There was always something . . . or someone calling her back

That person was Jeremiah Johnson, Harley’s childhood sweetheart. The boy she always ran to for comfort when she needed escape from her abusive home. It is easy to root for these two to be together in the end.  Their story reminds me a bit of the movie Sweet Home Alabama.

This was a page-turner. I was hooked from the very beginning. It will take you through so many emotions. Be prepared to laugh, to get angry, to cry.

The writing and character development were both just great. I feel like there was great attention paid to each character in the book whether they are a main or supporting character.

It was a well-rounded story. I didn’t come out of it feeling like anything was left out or that any one part was less significant than the others.

5/5 Heartbreaking, but also full of hope. 

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Read Ahead for Spoilers

I am glad that Jeremiah did not turn out to be like their father. I had a fear that once he got out of the marines that was going to happen. Thankfully, it never did.

I also had a feeling that their father would eventually commit suicide, but when it actually happened, the story was so heart breaking. 

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