Published on September 20th, 2014
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I had a choice, and I chose wrong.
I thought I lost everything. But when the smoke finally cleared, I discovered that I wasn’t alone.
Father Sullivan was a force – a living and breathing force, a forbidden desire I couldn’t resist. I didn’t want to resist. But I wasn’t the only one who wanted him, and by all accounts neither of us should have him.
I had decisions to make, secrets to uncover. Both would tear my heart, my life, and what was left of my family apart.
I wasn’t going to take any chances this time around. If I’d learned one thing during my life, it’s that death is the only certainty. It’s a matter of when, not if.
For every action, there is a reaction. For every choice, a consequence. If I hadn’t chosen to live again, I would have never known what life could be like …
With the Father
Being a fan of Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series, I thought that this book (based on the title) would be right up my alley. I went into this book completely blind; I was intrigued by the title/cover, AND by the GUSHING reviews. I was so confident I’d like it, I got my pal Kayla to buddy read it with me. So we jumped in feet first, completely ready to drink the Kool-Aid, and I hadn’t even read the synopsis yet.
Someone remind me to NEVER do that again.
Want to know how far in I got before I DNF’d? 55%.
That’s actually further than I normally go for a DNF. (Typically I do within the first 30%-ish.) I had heard there was an “epic plot twist”, so I kept reading… but it got to a point where I had to phone a friend (Kayla) and tap out.
Naturally, I wanted to know what said twist was. I will tell you, that by 55%, the the twist had not yet been revealed. However, I made up my mind that I could go no further, though I did ultimately discover what the “twist” was. (I’ll get to all that in a moment.)
Before you read further, I just want you to be aware that there are some potential spoilers within my review, but the major ones I’ll be sure to have hidden, and you’ll be able to click to read.
There are spoilers ahead. (Don’t worry, I have some of them hidden– click to read them at your own risk!)
Let me break down my issues that I had with this book:
1.) The Point-of-View Snafu:
There were 3(ish) POVs: Grace (who the story is centered around), her sister Kate, and the Priest. All told from a first-person perspective. Now here’s the issue that I had: It didn’t make sense. It felt disjointed, and at some points, bizarre. The flow of the story suffered because of it too.
I just couldn’t understand why the Priest’s POV was necessary in the prologue View Spoiler »considering it sets up what you think will be a story of forbidden romance, or SOMETHING romance-based…which apparently makes sense later in the story, but guess what? Ain’t nobody got time for dat. I think that that was the wrong chapter to start the story with. « Hide Spoiler. The prologue opens up with the priest (in his POV), and he’s talking about how he’s had some inappropriate feelings for Grace, who is married with 2 kids. Considering it was the PROLOGUE, at the time, I thought: “I can’t wait to see how this will work out!” But then, we start getting Grace’s POV, and her character just feel flat for me. There wasn’t much depth, and considering most of the book from that point forward was from her POV (and her sister’s), I was left underwhelmed.
I also found Kate’s POV to be very lack-luster and most times ANNOYING. View Spoiler »The whole time she’s trying to fight these feelings she has for the priest whom she’s JUST MET, to where she can’t even have a conversation with another man without thinking of the Priest…GET YOUR LIFE RIGHT, KATE. I had to fight the urge to skim her chapters because I found that I couldn’t care less about what she had to contribute to the story. Sorry not sorry. « Hide Spoiler
I spent a lot of time wondering if I was missing something…
2.) Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
I absolutely could not connect with the characters AT ALL. It was to the point where sad things were happening, and I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t care. As mentioned before, this could’ve been a result from either the fast pacing, or from the confusing POV format. The only thing that kept me reading was that I felt like I needed to solve the underlying “mystery” that presents itself around 30 or 40-something percent. View Spoiler »When we find out that Grace’s husband had a mistress, and that he had taken out life insurance policies on the kids without telling her. « Hide Spoiler
3.) The (Plot) Hole-y Grail
As I mentioned before, I only got 55% in. I was struggling trying to keep up, and at the same time, I was bracing myself for the “genius plot-twist that will blow your mind!”. By 55%, there had been a couple revelations, but nothing mind-blowing. However, I did have a few theories before I DNF’d:View Spoiler »1.) The Husband was having an affair, and tried to have Grace murdered so that he could be with his mistress and collect the insurance money. 2.) The sister was the mistress, and they (the husband and sister) were going to kill off Grace & the kids. 3.) The title “With the Father” had nothing to do with the priest, but had EVERYTHING to do with “the Father” of her (Grace’s) children. « Hide Spoiler
So after I decided that I was going to put the book down, I messaged a couple of my friends who had read it ’til the end, as I wanted them to explain the plot twist, and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about.
So, I braced myself.
Then, my pal Amanda filled me in. View Spoiler »The “twist” was that Grace actually died in the fire with her husband and kids. The whole time we were reading Grace’s POV chapters, it was a “what if”-type scenario. Apparently, in the beginning of the book when Grace had fled the house to call the authorities, she has a moment of zen outside her house, and she’s picturing what her life will be like if her family dies in the fire, and she is left behind. So all her chapters were “ghost” Grace, essentially. « Hide Spoiler
I call shenanigans.
That COULD’VE worked, if not for one major plot hole:View Spoiler »During Grace’s “what if” chapters, she finds out that A.) her husband had had an affair, and B.) that he had cancelled his insurance policy and started one for the children without her knowledge. (We also discover later that Grace’s husband also has a love child with his mistress, who BTW, is Grace’s BFF.) HOW in the world would she know all that unless there’s a paranormal twist in here that I wasn’t aware of? (I mean, does she have a super power that gives her the ability to see into the future?) Considering that all this information is uncovered by Grace’s sister Kate at around 40-something percent (5 months AFTER the fire) in the book, then HOW, pray tell, would Grace have the foresight to know all this juicy stuff in the “what if” chapters? (The FIRE happens within the first 3 chapters of the book.) « Hide Spoiler
Now, when I brought up this plot hole with another reader (who read the book and loved it), they informed me that the twist was set up pretty early on in the book: View Spoiler »Apparently, the author wrote the POVs in a way in which the sisters Grace and Kate never actually TALK to one another. As in, they have vague interactions since technically, Grace is a ghost in the future– as these are “what if” scenarios that are happening after the fire. « Hide Spoiler
I call shenanigans squared.
The proof is in the pudding, my friends. Here’s a [plot] hole that I found within a [plot] hole: View Spoiler »If this ^ is the case, that the sisters don’t ever have conversations, then riddle me this: HOW does Kate (who is actually the one who made the discovery of the husband’s infidelity) relay the info to Grace, if not by TELLING HER? There’s actual dialogue that happens between the sisters, even though supposedly, the twist is substantiated by the fact that they “never talk” during the book. ACTUALLY, they have a fight where Grace has words with Kate, and insults Kate by telling her that she’s not even her “real sister” based on the fact that they’re not related by blood…Take a moment to process that. Wouldn’t you say something’s not adding up here?I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty serious plot hole. « Hide Spoiler
If you’re going to have a psychological-style twist in your story, it has to make sense. I, as the reader, should be able to go back in the story, and say: “WOW, look at all these clues that I missed that led us up to this point!” Instead, I was left scratching my head, feeling like the author was just making shit up.
Look, this plot twist COULD HAVE been pretty awesome, but in my opinion, was executed poorly. It had a lot of potential.
What a shame.
Now, how can I get those hours of my life back?