How do you piece together a broken soul—a spirit so crushed and battered from the weight of guilt and self loathing that the only conceivable way to keep breathing—to keep placing one foot in front of the other—is to erect four solid, impenetrable walls to protect your heart?
Simple: you don’t.
At least that’s what I thought. The change was almost too faint to notice at first but it began with her. It’s always been about her. Whether she knew it that night when she came to the bar and approached me after the show, I don’t know. But she started something inside me that I couldn’t fight or resist until it was too late. With her smile, her forgiveness, her friendship, Caylee Sawyer saved me that night and every day that followed. Patiently she showed me that the grief I’d buried under a mountain of a lifestyle of ‘not-giving-a-damn’ still needed an outlet—to be acknowledged. To be released.
She saved me. I just hope I don’t screw it up.
‘Forgiveness came by being brave enough to follow your heart, wherever that journey took you’
Having read ‘Bittersweet Melody’, (which I absolutely loved) I was eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to complete Cooper and Caylee’s’ story. This was an incredible conclusion to what I considered to be a heart-wrenching, bittersweet and unforgettable story of two people whose love for each other has endured pain, loss, and tragedy.
The story picked up where book one left off. Caylee and Cooper are officially a couple. Things appear to be going well, despite Cooper’s ongoing struggles with PTSD. Caylee was his healing balm. Because of her, he was able to get through each day, however, due to his failure to let go of the guilt over his best friend’s death he risked destroying the very thing he held dear. Would Cooper allow the demons of his past to destroy what he and Caylee had?
The pacing was slow, however, the story was not boring. In fact, I was compelled to read on as I was curious to discover how the story would unfold. This is not the type of story that can be rushed. It has to be consumed as one would consume fine wine. I must confess, that as I approached the last few chapters, I was afraid to continue. Why? Well, to be honest, I didn’t like the route that Cooper and Caylee’s’ relationship was taking. I was thinking, ‘That can’t be happening not after all they have been through’. However, I moved past the fear and continued and I am glad I did.
In reading this series my eyes were opened to the effects that PTSD can have on an individual as well as their family and friends. My heart went out to Cooper, seeing him struggle on a daily basis not knowing when an incident, a word or anything for that matter would trigger an episode. I know it could not have been easy living like that. As for Caylee all I can say is ‘Wow!’ She demonstrated how much she loved Cooper with her patience and kindness. While reading, I was reminded of the fact that no matter how strong we may believe we are, we are unable to overcome pain and trauma without emotional and physical support.
‘Bittersweet Symphony’ was more than a romantic story. It spoke of healing, forgiveness, love and letting go of the pain of our past. It demonstrates that letting go of the pain of our past is the first step in the healing process. Holding on to the past will destroy our future happiness. Blaming ourselves for things outside of our control is not healthy and will eventually destroy us physically, mentally and emotionally.
I enjoyed the author’s writing style. The manner in which she conveyed the emotions of the characters and described every scene made me feel as if I was a part of the story and not just viewing from the sidelines.
This was an awesome story and one which I highly recommend.
I received a complimentary copy from the author. All opinions expressed above are a true and fair reflection of my views of the book.