This story resumes where it ended in the first book where Lily Kincaid runs into Atlas Corrigan for the first time in almost two years. She’s now divorced from Ryle and both are managing their parenting plan of 11-month old daughter Emerson. Atlas is now the owner of two successful Boston restaurants and life is good but he’s never forgotten the girl who gave him a lifeline when he needed it most, both physically and emotionally. He was also Lily’s first love so this chance encounter is serendipitous.
the heart of the story…
I gotta stress that it’s important to read It Ends with Us before this one. It’s a continuing arc and while you won’t be lost, you’ll miss the important values of this story. In the first book, Lily makes the hardest decision to leave Ryle and end the cycle of abuse in her family. Here, she’s confronting those issues related to coparenting with her abuser who still hasn’t accepted responsibility or ownership of his own behavior. Lily makes some really smart decisions regarding their coparenting but also makes some missteps along the way that give Ryle ground to continue trying to insinuate himself back into a relationship with Lily. When she and Atlas decide to begin dating, that ignites Ryle’s worst instincts. Lily doesn’t always make the best choices when it comes to Ryle but I admired how she used certain methods to remind herself of why she needed to stay resolute. But it’s Atlas who stole my heart as he had every reason to become a bitter man but chose to see himself as the person reflected in Lily’s eyes. He learned compassion from her and is that man she saw him to be. He was just lovely.
I’m thrilled that two narrators were used as the story is told from both Lily and Atlas’s point of view. Both performances were wonderful as they made me feel like I was “hearing” the characters as I imagined them to be. They were outstanding.
the bottom line…
Everything about this story lived up to or surpassed my expectations. When the first book ended, I let my imagination run amok as to what might be their happy ending. This was much better! Their paths to happiness were tricky and uneasy but it’s their unique history that continues to bind them. I loved getting more about Atlas’s history and what led to him being homeless. There are some surprises for him that made this an even richer story, even though there are already many layers emotionally. It was a wonderful story made even better by the narrators. If the audio version is an option, go for it.
- Release Date: October 18, 2022
- Series: It Ends with Us #2
- Narrators: Colin Donnell & Olivia Strong
- Audio Length: 8 hours, 41 minutes
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)