By: J.L. Berg
Within these Walls and Beyond these Walls depict a very heart-warming love story, which makes readers believe in miracles and a perfect happy ever after. It pushes our faith in true love and it is a shining example of self-sacrifice, unburdened, pure and non-tainted love.
We follow the separate and then joined lives of Lailah Buchanan and Jude Cavanaugh. Lailah is a young twenty year old woman who has a congenital heart disease that has forced her to live a life full of restraint and constriction, where she has been predominantly home or hospital bound. Jude is a twenty five year old man, who works as an orderly at the hospital and is very much actively running away from his past. When their worlds collide, both Lailah and Jude are left anticipating a life together they never thought possible.
“The sound of my own laugh registered in my ears, and I suddenly felt conflicted. I didn’t remember the last time I’d heard anything remotely close to a laugh burst from my lungs. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.”
“Love wasn’t an option for me.”
Even though they both have their doubts it seems that the universe has other plans for Lailah and Jude. Opening their hearts to one another; through a sea of secrets, heartache and possibility of death, they both find solace and happiness with one another.
“Everything needs a beginning.”
“This is ours.”
As their story continues we notice how J.L Berg has created these amazing independent characters and worked her writer’s magic to seamlessly place them in one another’s lives. Like loving anybody else was never another option for either of them. We watch Lailah grow as a person; mentally and emotionally, experiencing life beyond any of her expectations. As for Jude, his past doesn’t seem so daunting now with Lailah by his side. Together they tackle her illness and live together like every day is her last.
Until that day suddenly becomes too close.
“I should let him go. He deserved better than a second chance that had very little hope.”
“Everything. I’ll give her everything.”
Will Jude and Lailah survive the possibility of death looming over them? How will they be able to save each other from the sorrow that loss and heartache brings? We follow the emotional journey with fears of our own that these two beautiful characters will not get the ending they deserve.
Or will they?
“You’re really here”
“Dear God, if I’m dreaming… I don’t ever want to wake up.”
You’re definitely not dreaming. But if you need proof..”
My eyes opened just in time to see the palm of her hand make contact with my face
“Ouch” “What the hell was that for?”
“That, was for making important life decisions without me, Jude”
Picking up where Within these Walls left off, Beyond these Walls continues to follow the love story of Jude and Lailah.
Living in a different city, with new experiences, choices and a brighter looking future, Jude and Lailah continue to grow into the spectacular people they are meant to be. Both separately and together, believing they both saved each other from a life of heartache and loneliness. Together they battle the insecurities that old scars have left behind and tackle the possibility that life isn’t yet done throwing curveballs.
With an impending marriage both Lailah and Jude explore their relationship, heightening the depth of love that they have for one another. We see the changes in their relationship and their personalities, now that Lailah’s health is more stable. We witness the notion of soul mates as they continue their exploration of life and love.
“I realized that I could do nothing for the rest of my existence but tell you how much I love you, and it still wouldn’t be an accurate measurement of what I feel for you. My love is immeasurable, infinite and always evolving and you have it all.”
“You came and wrapped your arms around me, and I realized that nothing mattered as long as we were together. Snowstorms, heart transplants, or anything else the world wants to throw our way, as long as your hand is in mine, I’ll never fear the unknown.”
Readers are very aware that in order to really appreciate something remarkable we have to anticipate the unpleasant presence of bad news and unfortunately for Jude and Lailah, they are once again thrust into a world of possibilities and unknowns and each decision they make holds so much responsibility, opportunity and consequences.
“I love you, more than anything in this world, Lailah, and as you can see, I would give you anything to make you happy… but not this. Please don’t ask this of me.”
“Let me keep you safe”
All the preparation, planning and meticulous rule abiding will never prepare Lailah and Jude for what awaits them in the future. Not only will their relationship suffer their bubble of love and bliss will be in jeopardy of bursting, possibly leaving an ugly and devastating mess.
Will the love story that is Jude and Lailah survive?
Hearts, health and future intact?
“There were no tears of sadness and no cries of loss, only the sound of hope and the promises of great things to come.”