Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Way it Should be by Christina Suzann Nelson, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy
Synopsis: After years of estrangement, the lives of Zara Mahoney and her twin sister, Eve, are suddenly and completely intertwined again. Eve’s troubled lifestyle causes the state to take custody of her two children and contact Zara and her husband, asking them to consider foster care. Newlywed Zara thought she’d finally been given a fresh start and feels wholly unprepared to care for a niece and nephew whose existence she wasn’t even aware of.
Meanwhile, Eve may have a real chance to start over this time with the help of Tiff Bradley, who’s dedicated to helping women everyone else has given up on after facing a heartbreaking tragedy in her own family.
Over the course of one summer, all three women’s hearts and lives hang in the balance as Eve desperately works toward a new life. Can they redefine their expectations of how life should be to find the hope they—and those they love—so desperately need?
My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧
My Thoughts: Firstly let me say that I would definitely give this more stars if I could, I absolutely adored this.
I would normally start my review by giving you a bit of background but the synopsis seems to do this pretty well so I won’t bother 😂
The story is told from the perspective of both sisters as well as a couple other characters we meet along the way, I love stories that are told from multiple perspectives as I feel you get a more rounded feel for the story instead of just seeing it from one side.
Zara’s chapters feel perfect in the beginning but you soon get they feeling that there is something missing in her life that all the ‘perfection‘ is masking or making up for, when she gets the letter asking if her an her husband will take on the care of their 4 year old niece and 18 month old nephew her first thought is no, she’s newly married and live in a “fixer-upper” that is just not safe for children, but is there more to it than that?
Eves chapters are utterly heartbreaking, she’s an addict considering prostitution to be able to put food on the table for her children because her good for nothing boyfriend has disappeared again, left them no food, no money to buy food and without any idea as to when he will be returning – it is on her first night prowling the streets for a client that she meets Tiff, could this be the lifeline she needs? – within eves chapters there were her diary entries that gave you a real insight into how she was feeling (things that she obviously didn’t tell the people in her life) and that felt really special.
Tiff is a grieving mother, just trying to help the people on the streets in ways that she couldn’t help her own daughter, she provides them with food parcels and a person to talk to, then one night on her regular trip she meets Eve, for some reason Eve is different to all the others and Tiff finds herself breaking all the rules she set to keep herself safe to help Eve get her life back on track.
The story is powerful in so many ways, it will bring different emotions out in you throughout the book that leave you rooting for all of the women individually but also together too, it didn’t end in the way I expected, but I loved that. It showed that you should always put your needs and the needs of those most important to you in front of what people expect from you.
A really tough read in places, but a really heartwarming one too.