Book – Dear Emily (Forever Family #1)
Author – Trudy Stiles
Publication Date - December 3, 2013
Type – Part of Series
Genre - Romance
Rating - 5 out of 5 Stars
Two women. Carly and Tabitha. They each have suffered life-altering events that have left them both traumatically damaged.
Carly Sloan’s life was perfect until her security and innocence was torn from her. The vast repercussions from horrific events threaten to destroy her stability and her chances for a happily ever after. Kyle Finnegan comes into Carly’s life at the height of her turmoil. Can he help her find what she desires most?
Tabitha Fletcher has constantly suffered from a very young age. She has been hiding from her past, which was full of sadness, loss and abuse. She has been so brutally damaged that she has very little hope for redemption. The revolving door of men only leads her deeper into misery.
What circumstance brings these two women together and can they help each other heal? And will they each find what they need?
“Dear Emily” is the first book in the “Forever Family” series.
This book is not suitable for young readers. It is intended for mature adults only (18+). It contains strong language, adult/sexual situations, non-consensual sex and some violence.
How do I start off a letter to a child I have yet to meet?
A child that has always been in our hearts?
A child that is meant for our family?
Your Daddy and I cannot wait for the moment we are able to hold you in our arms for the first time. To lay our eyes on your perfect face, eyes, toes. To breathe in the essence of a new baby, swirling scents of powder and linen.
We cannot wait to feel your beating heart against our chests and to listen to your slow and steady breaths. To hear your soft baby noises. To soothe your crying.
We have always dreamed of you, Emily. We’ve dreamed that someday our family would be blessed with a child. We are so close. Our new family is within reach.
We are here hoping, waiting, praying.
Love and kisses,
My eyes are glistening with tears as I scrawl my signature at the bottom of the letter, touch my fingers to my lips, press them onto her name and close my journal. I look over to my left where Kyle is softly snoring, sleeping soundly. I mouth the words “I love you” to him, touch his back lightly, put my journal in my night table drawer and turn out the soft light by my bedside. I curl my body into his, tuck my head into his chest and hold on tight.
I love this man with all that I am and I love the father that he is going to be.
My heart is full of hope.
I don’t even know how to start this review because this story continually pulled at my emotions. I am still reliving this book over and over in my thoughts. I think while reading, each emotion came raging to the forefront – I experienced hatred, love, angst, sadness, compassion, heart-break, happiness, and so many more that I can’t even name them all.
I think I had a soft spot for this book in regards to the story of the adoption since I was adopted as a baby. It helped me understand the emotions my birth-mother must have been going through when she had to give me up even knowing I was going to a better family. I empathized with Tabby and her heartbreak with being alone.
The author had a real talent with how she switched from Tabby’s story to Carly’s story along with going from the Past to the Present. I think by starting out in the “present” it was easier to focus on the relationships of the past knowing already who was together in the present. Through this book, we experience a plethora of relationships which are built, torn down and made stronger by traumatic events in each Tabby’s and Carly’s past.
We start the book with Carly and Kyle already married and hearing that they were chosen by a single woman to give them her baby for adoption. We experience their joy in finding out that they will finally have the one thing they have dreamed of for years. We see that the relationship is solid between the two and the love they share is strong and beautiful.
We switch back to the past and Carly is just starting college and experienced a terrible event. She must heal from this and has problems which are not only physical but also mental. With the help of her friends, Carly learns to trust again and open up to them with what happened.
The story from here continually switches back and forth, while in the present Carly and Kyle prepare for the baby to be born and try to form a solid relationship with the expectant mother, Tabby. While in the past, Carly is still trying to heal and starts to build a friendship with Kyle.
Tabby is from the foster system and has led a very traumatic life – at the start of the book, Tabby is living out West with Tony who beats her and keeps her locked away in his apartment and bar. Tabby is able to get away and runs back to Philadelphia where she meets Alex and Seth.
Switch back to the present and we find Tabby pregnant and living with Seth. She constantly questions whether she is doing the right thing by giving Emily up for adoption. She isn’t in love with Seth and is depressed about losing Alex, the only love of her life.
In Tabby’s back story we learn that Seth was just a friend to Tabby and Alex is her love and life. With one stupid accident, Tabby loses Alex and is stuck with Seth who picked up the pieces of her broken heart. It is Seth who pressures Tabby into giving Emily away since they are still so young and need to build on their relationship and get into a stable life before thinking of children.
When we are in the present close to the due date, Tabby has very strong feelings about losing her daughter and Carly feels that Tabby is having second thoughts.
I can’t say enough about this book....I recommend this book to anyone because this book contains not only romance but gives us a beautiful life story which revolves around this little baby, Emily.
Both mothers write letters to Emily throughout the book, and while Carly writes happy letters full of anticipation, Tabby is writing about heartache on giving her away.
Pick this book up and learn how two women come together to form a bond around a tiny infant.