By: C. J. English
It is so hard to decide where exactly to start when it comes to explaining this book. The author sent me a copy of her book, explaining that not only is this, her debut into the writing world; it is a Memoir and 100% about her.
As I started reading I realised early on that this book was going to take me on an emotional journey. I had spoken with the English numerous times, which inevitably created a connection for me and my empathy towards her story was at an all-time high.
You were so worth the wait
The story is about C.J., a woman who struggles through life on her quest to find true love. And when I say quest, I mean a twelve year journey of love, hate, anger, betrayal, indiscretion, suffering, joy, laughter, happiness and a well-deserved happy ever after. There are no major twists or turns in this story, or any massive revelations leading to life changing decisions. Rather this is a woman’s decision to not be ashamed of her happy ever after. English’s writing allows us to become privy to her life, she opens up her heart and soul and writes with such honesty, that the possibility of judgement from the reader is inevitable. Regardless, English hides nothing with her words she says ‘This is me; this is my life – good and bad. Take me as I am’
“If you choose this rare love, it will be the greatest love you have ever known. You are one of the lucky ones”
C.J. meets Levi and eventually she marries him, ignoring the facts that she has always had doubts. Her need to never be alone over powers her ability to make good decisions. They then have a child together, which solidifies her belief that they should remain together regardless. Together she and Levi bring out the worst in each other. C.J. becomes a person that, the future her cannot even relate to. Her constant need to belittle Levi and their relationship turns nasty and ugly.
“I hate you
I wish you were dead
I wish I could fucking kill you.”
Strangely enough Levi doesn’t want to ever leave C.J., it appears he also fears being alone and regardless of her attempts to get him to leave her, her withdrawal of sex and her berating of his self-esteem, Levi persists he wants to stick around.
Further along in the book we are introduced to Grant – not the idea of Grant but the real life –other man. It is with Grant that we see C.J. become the person she is supposed to be – happy and carefree. A lot of the relationship between Grant and C.J. is based on flirting, intuition and self-induced obsession. It is not until later on that we finally witness the admission of feelings by the two.
“I don’t know. I just know that I want to be with you.”
After years of dealing with their attraction themselves, Grant and C.J. embark on a journey of secret love. Together they grow and become more determined to be together. Eventually the secrecy is not an option and C.J takes the necessary steps to get a divorce. At last, they can begin their lives together. Against all odds C.J. and Grant prove that this is the real deal. After breaking down all the barriers, hurdling over all the obstacles the future does look brighter for them. Together they prove that true love is worth waiting and fighting for.
“There was no going back to our old lives.”
“Every cell in my body was telling me he was my Happy Ever After.”
I want to make a special mention to the difficulties faced when writing something like this. C.J. English has chosen to strip her soul bare for the benefits of the reader. She has allowed us into her life and even showed us sides of her that are not at all flattering. I commend her on her raw honesty, as well as allowing for the possibility of judgement and misunderstanding. I appreciate her concentration on her love story and not the drama, pain and suffering of others involved. This by no means, means that I do not acknowledge that there is more pain and more versions of this same story, but for the sake of this review I wholeheartedly support English’s choice in what was revealed.