Saturday 2 July 2016

Review ~ Full Share by Eliza Freed

Book Description:

Nora Hargrove’s post-grad life includes a horrific entry-level job, a cave of an apartment, and a strict avoidance of all interpersonal relationships. She knows only one thing about herself—she wants to be left alone.

Avoiding her mother’s forced family time, she seeks solitude on her own terms. In a poorly ventilated, overcrowded Dewey Beach rental, she discovers there’s no place to hide. Not from yourself, not from your life, and not from love. This is the story of Nora Hargrove’s full share.

I learned the healing power of a good bloody Mary and a dip in the Atlantic. I kayaked in the dead of night and witnessed the only shooting star I’ve ever seen. I fell in love on a bed made of pallets. I lived.

Life is deep. Dive in.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Life is deep, Nora. Dive in.”

I have to say, I loved the title of this book. Not being privy to way things work in America I was surprised at how the title and the story fitted together. Nora Hargrove is woman that works a job as a means to an end on the telephones for an insurance company. Usually spending the summers with her parents she decides that for a change she wants something more independent and so she buys a full share in a beach house for the summer. So now, with her weekends sorted she makes the commute every weekend to her beach house where she makes friends with a host of characters.

“They’re the wealthy and the poor, the lost and the enlightened, and I love every one of them.”

There are sixteen people living in this beach house, eight full shares and eight half shares. Nora already knows three of them, one being her college roomie, Heather and the other being her high school crush, Rob and his irritating girlfriend, Blaire. With sixteen people the house is jam packed and Nora soon finds herself sharing a room with Jack. At first Nora is a bit shy and guarded but Jack has the knack of getting her to talk and the only other person in the house that she finds herself talking too, is Tank.

“You’re okay. You’re like a string of Christmas lights…if just one bulb was replaced, you’d shine bright…we just need to figure out which bulb it is.”

The summer is a real period of growth for Nora, she truly finds herself and what she wants from life. Forced to make friends Nora really opens herself up to Jack and Tank and while it doesn’t seem a lot it is huge for Nora. Nora has never been a sharer preferring to keep herself to herself so to even make friends is a huge step and you cannot help but empathise and you soon find yourself rooting for our little quiet one. Nora has never really felt loved by her mum and has an intense dislike for her, but she does seem to have a fairly decent relationship with her dad. It is this that is the real foundation behind her inclination to disassociate herself from others. The author does treat us to her life outside of the beach house and her relationship with a colleague, Rick is hilarious and adds some much needed light-heartedness to what is quite an intense emotional read and her trips to the dog shelter show another side too.

“Don’t pretend to know me when you barely know yourself.”

I loved Nora’s interactions with Jack and Tank and it is these three that really made the story for me. Jack has his own issues but on the outside his charm is infectious and he pulls out all his arsenal to try and make headway with Nora. Tank is deep and dark and extremely introspective, he is very similar to Nora in that regard and like Nora he is not a sharer, so the scenes with these two are normally intense. But it is with these scenes that we find out so much about these two characters and Tank was a character that I adored.

“I know you didn’t want to be my first because of exactly this, the dramatic clingy horror show of virgins, but even if I never see you again after today, I’m the luckiest person alive because it was you.”

Eliza Freed really delivers a novel with intense character connection and emotional depth. A story that you cannot help but get emotionally involved with. The flow of the story fits the characters and while it is by no means fast, it is reflective and introspective. I found myself constantly lost in Nora and Jack and was totally swept away by their story. I have read a few Eliza Freed books now and I have fallen in love with her writing style. Eliza Freed delivers some curveballs that knocked me sideways, I had tears of laughter and tears of pain, but most of all, I lived and breathed this story and that is what I love the most in a book. Another great read from Eliza Freed.

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