Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.
From the moment the book begins, Blythe McGuire reveals herself as a damaged, lost soul. A loner who is finishing her final year at college, she’s made no friends or connections that could bring her out of her self-imposed exile.
In the space of a day, that all changes. A chance encounter with a cute guy over coffee followed by a deep connection with a tall, dark and handsome man at the lake ensure her life is never the same again. These meetings turn out to be related; they are two of the four Shepherd siblings, and are some of the most rounded, interesting characters I’ve ever been introduced to.
Chris—the tall, dark and handsome one—is the eldest Shepherd sibling, the head of the family who fights to keep them all together. Sabin, the dramatic, cheeky brother that Blythe met over coffee, is the second eldest. Then come Eric and Estelle, the beautiful yet haunted twins.
Suddenly, Blythe finds herself right at the heart of the family, becoming fast friends with the twins and Sabin, and falling head over heals for Chris.
But things aren’t ever as easy as they seem, especially for Blythe who has suffered more than her fair share of tragedy. Yet she drags herself out of the despair she has been wallowing in for years, rebuilding her life and allowing herself to be taken care of for the first time.
I loved all the characters in this story. Each one was so beautifully described, from Blythe’s tragic history, to Chris’s tortured soul, I felt like each one of them could have been somebody I knew. And the story, oh my, there were twists and turns, but more than that, there were things that played at my heart and tugged at every emotion it was possible to feel.
Left Drowning was an unputdownable story. Jessica Park’s excellent writing style dragged me in from the start; her poetic words and unerring ability to paint a story make this one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’m not going to lie, parts of it were hard to read, and a few times I wanted to scream at the characters, particularly Chris. But to see Blythe’s character grow and shine, like a butterfly climbing out of a chrysalis, made everything worthwhile.
Five stars don’t seem enough for this book, but that’s all I’ve got. So if you haven’t read it already, go see what the fuss is about – you won’t regret it.