Monday, July 30, 2018

As Wide as the Sky by Jessica Pack {Review}

As Wide as the Sky by Jessica Pack
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 31st 2018 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Five a.m.: Amanda Mallorie wakes to the knowledge that her son Robbie is gone. And a new chapter of her own life must begin. She has spent four years as her son's only support, desperately trying to understand the actions that landed him on death row and to change his fate. Now Amanda faces an even more difficult task--finding a way, and a reason, to move forward with her own life.

Before the tragedy that unfolded in a South Dakota mall, Robbie was just like other people's sons or daughters. Sometimes troubled, but sweet and full of goodness too. That's the little boy Amanda remembers as she packs up his childhood treasures and progress reports, and discovers a class ring she's never seen before. Who does it belong to and why did Robbie have it in his possession? So begins a journey that will remind her not only of who Robbie used to be, but of a time when she wasn't afraid--to talk to strangers, to help those in need, to reach out. Robbie's choices can never be unmade, but there may still be time for forgiveness and trust to grow again. For a future as wide as the sky.
My Review: 5 Stars
Amanda's son is dead because of his choices and now she must move on. There are many pivotal moments in life that affect us.  Life is full of resets and I love the way this mother's story unfolded with resets playing such a key part. 
Every other chapter is from Amanda's point of view and the chapters between are characters who had something to do with Amanda or Robbie, her son. Realistic development occurs because the reader is treated to tiny memories and vivid moments, touching emotion and gripping thoughts, and many miraculous coincidences. This author does a fantastic job of transporting the reader into the head of Amanda and I developed a lot of empathy and understanding. 
I felt like Amanda was like many moms--wondering where she went wrong, waffling between love and horror, and feeling alone in her position in life, that she came to be in through no fault of her own. Not every mom deals with what she did, but a lot do on a much smaller scale, with disappointment of failed expectations. The nuggets of wisdom that she comes upon along her journey to move forward are so tender.
The writing style is very expressive and the whole story comes together in a way that is deeply moving--this is a story that stayed with me for many days and I'm excited to see what Jessica Pack will come up with next.
Content: mild+ violence (nothing too graphic); mild language 

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