Sweet, Sad, Delightful and Magical

Then and Always: A Novel - Dani Atkins

Grab your tissues and a box of chocolates. This is one very emotional and beautiful story, it will break you into pieces and finish you off with a bittersweet dream of pure joy. I loved reading it more than any book I’ve read in this gene this year. It gave me hope in my heart for a different ending.
Rachel was having one last dinner with her boyfriend and their friends before heading off to college. She is dating Matt, beautiful rich Matt who every girl wants but somehow she won his hand in hers. Jimmy her friend sits across from her and wants to talk with her privately before they all go their separate ways tomorrow. She doesn’t think much of it, she’s worked about Matt and their separation. Everything changes in the headlights of a car heading for the restaurant window. Friends scramble for safety, Matt scuttles of with Cathy an attractive girl who has been ogling him, and doesn’t want him going to her. Time slows down, certain things become clear. Rachel is pinned in front of the car heading right for her till somebody pushes her to safety. Somebody who will not be going on to college with the others, this death will effect every moment of the future for Rachel.
Rachel has been in a hospital for 5 years ? Or wasn’t she ? Things are confusing, she is having these terrible headaches. Her father is very sick, her ex Matt is now dating Cathy and is making weird advances towards her. He college life never happened and she now suffers along with a secretarial job she doesn’t enjoy. Her cat is treating her like a hated enemy. When she is reunited with her old friends and hears that Jimmy had always been madly in love with her she puts some pieces together. When she decides she has to visit Jimmy’s grave finally things take a different turn when a headache sends her to her knees.
This is a story of pain suffering and great lose. It is also a story of great love beauty and true happiness in this life and the next. It offers our delicate hearts a chance to dream of more. Beautifully written.