Author: Rebecca H. Jamison
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook, Print
Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Honeywood Publishers
As teenagers, Celia and Manny planned their future together in the branches of a mango tree. Soon afterward, Manny leaves Fogo Island for college, expecting to marry Celia and take her to America once he graduates. However, during Manny’s schooling, the volcano near Celia’s village erupts, burying her home.
They lose contact with each other, and Celia comes to believe that Manny has fallen in love with someone else. When their lives intersect again, too much has changed for their plans to ever become a reality, yet the promises they made and the desires of their hearts persist, becoming unforgettable.
Rounding up from 3.5 stars.
At the beginning of this book I felt like the writing was choppy or maybe simplistic. I didn’t think I was going to like the book at all. I couldn’t really relate to the culture in Cape Verde and was even confused about the time period because they weren’t living typical first world lives. I kept having to remind myself that this was taking place in the internet era. But somewhere in the middle and maybe it was when they went to America, I’m not sure, but I forgot all that. The writing matured along with the characters. I still didn’t relate to the lives the characters were living since they were so different than my own. I’m not a poor immigrant struggling to understand a new culture, language, and wondering how to meet basic needs. But that gave me insight into what life is like for many other people.
The domestic abuse was horrific and pretty graphic. I was so relieved when Celia finally left. I had been sad that she hadn’t taken the offers of help she had been given before.
I loved the sense of community among the immigrants. They were always willing to help and took to each other like family.
For a while I was afraid that we weren’t going to have a totally happy ever after but it all ended up being good. There was a lot of sorrow along the way and a sadness over poor choices and lost time but we were still left with a feeling of hope. The evil people were going to get what was coming and the good people would figure out their HEA. Did we ever find out what happens to the Andre’s grandmother?
Over all , I liked the story even though the abuse parts were hard to read. It was a little frustrating that the main characters didn’t own up to their feelings sooner but really under the circumstances they couldn’t. I liked Manny’s kindness and goodness and was glad that Celia learned her mother had been wrong about her beauty being so important.
Violence: yes. Graphic domestic abuse against woman, women fighting back, also fist fights between men, baby kidnapped at knife point, woman cut with knife.