Waiting for You: A Review


Title: Waiting for You
Author: Allison Williford
Genre: Women’s Fiction

***** 


BLURB:
This day would always be burned into her memory, an ugly brand leaving its scar. 

Losing a loved one to death will always leave a gaping hole in our hearts — something 23-year-old Kylie Lewis knows all too well. But do we allow it to destroy us, leaving us terrified of ever loving again? Or do we force ourselves to pick up the pieces of our shattered hearts and continue with our lives? 

Kylie’s quiet, rote life — working as a columnist at the Charleston Herald, hanging out with her best friend, Cat, and downtime with her mother — is soon turned upside down. Cat drags her to a concert, where she meets Adam Bell, an aspiring musician with a history of his own loss. Shortly after, her mother receives a devastating diagnosis of terminal breast cancer. 

Stricken with the fear of her inevitable loss, Kylie struggles with her budding relationship with Adam. But with the help of Adam’s empathy, can she learn to grieve her mother without shutting out the world, as she once did after her father’s death? Can she learn to love in spite of her losses? 

Waiting for You is a story of loss, grief, and love.


***** 

Excerpt: 


“What got you into music?” she asked suddenly, idly stirring her straw.
“My mom, to be honest. She gave piano lessons at our house. We had an old upright piano in our living room, and she used to play when I was little. I always wanted to sit next to her on the bench. I don’t think Elliott, my little brother, was even walking yet when I started learning. My dad used to get mad every time I’d play chopsticks.” Kylie smiled, brushing her hair out of her eyes, as she watched him intently.
“Do you play anything besides piano?”
“A few.” He glanced at Kylie as her head tilted, questioning him for more. “I started cello lessons in fifth grade, although I haven’t touched one since I graduated. I started teaching myself guitar once I got into high school.”
“Neat. I wish I was that talented,” she said with a bemused smile.
“What about you? How’d you end up giving out advice?”
“Growing up, I wanted to do investigative work like my dad.” She looked down into her nearly empty glass. “But as you saw, I kind of have a hard time with blood. So, I ended up getting my degree in journalism, and my intention was to do more…I don’t know. Actual news and stories. The advice column sort of fell in my lap. Mama insisted I take it to get my foot in the door. Eventually, I want to do investigative journalism with the Herald.” Her smile faltered.
“That doesn’t seem like such a horrible job,” Adam said, raising his voice over another screeching karaoke contestant. Kylie leaned in to hear him. “How long has your dad been a detective?”
“Um, he isn’t with us anymore.” She bit her lip and stared down into her glass, rattling the ice cubes with her straw.
“Oh. Sorry.” Adam took a long draught, watching as two girls finished a duet. Kylie shook her head.
“He died during a case.” Her voice was soft, and mournfulness dulled her blue eyes. Adam found himself floundering again. This wasn’t going at all how he had planned, and he had to do something.
“Let’s do karaoke,” he said.
“Huh? Oh no, don’t subject these poor people to my singing,” she pleaded as Adam grabbed her hand, tugging her off the barstool.
“Who cares? Half the people who get up here can’t hit a single note.” She pulled her hand out of his grasp, shaking her head as her cheeks reddened. Adam stopped as he watched the mournfulness in her eyes turn to pleading. She looked away, quickly gathering her purse, her hands fumbling as she fished out her wallet.
“I really don’t do well like this in front of people,” she said, tossing cash at the bartender and turning towards the exit. Adam grabbed her hand again before she could take another step.
“Kylie, wait,” he said. She stared at the ground, but did not pull away. “I’m sorry. We can just go for a walk if you want. The battery is nice at night.” She paused for a few moments.
“Alright.” Although Adam was reluctant to let go, she slipped her hand out of his grasp and led them outside.



******


Review: 

I was really blown away by how emotional this novel made me. I knew I was in for a tear-jerker novel by the blurb when I first saw this novel, but I didn't realize just how many tissues I'd be (personally) using. This really struck home for me, as a reader - as a mourner - I realized about half way through the novel, I was a bit like Kylie. I too, lost my father (just last August) and there is always this question of "How do I mourn?" With Kylie - she not only has to deal with the loss of her Dad, but the impending death of her mother. Even though my Mom isn't sick, it's something that I've become more aware of - I will have to endure this heartache one more time. One day, I will be without my Mom. It's not something that any normal 20-something year old wants to think about, or even ... thinks about, but it's the reality of life. ANYWAY - To summarize that part of my review - this story was profoundly touching to me. I even felt like there were messages that I needed as a "daughter who has lost a parent." It's an awful club to be in, but once you're there - some things in life just change for you. And they certainly did for Kylie. 

I loved the romance that went on between Adam and Kylie. It was sweet and simple and really believable. I really enjoyed seeing Adam and Kylie develop as individuals and as a "couple." It was a little odd for me to have Adam be so distant during the death of Kylie's Mom. During those first initial days, those are the times to be there for someone, even if they don't ask - more importantly - because they're not going to. It's important to be there, to make sure they eat, sleep, do all the basic human functions, because the mourner isn't thinking about those things. It was just .. it felt wrong almost that Adam and her friend Cat just . . left. Left and were all "Call us if you need anything." I was screaming: "SHE ISN'T GOING TO!" 

The scenes around her mother's death were a bit "dramatic" for me, and a bit confusing. Kylie had - in just another scene - seen her mother very sick and she didn't call for help because her mother didn't want her to. We flash to another scene where she's coming from being out with Adam and friends (I wasn't sure of the timeline - was this just a day later ? A week? Sometimes I felt rather confused about this.) and we find her mother on the floor, in the bathroom very sick. 
Adam calls hospice, to find they can only make her comfortable. I was a bit mad at the Mom for her "DNR" status. I actually had to pause and really think it out - You have a daughter! She needs you! Why would you DNR yourself? - I get it, though. Or I think I do now. 

I wouldn't want my Dad to have extended his life for me, for my selfish wanting of him to be around longer - if he had died from a disease. Like I said, this book really made me think about my own grief, and the perspective of those who are dying. My Dad died of a heart attack, he was here one day - happy and healthy and .. gone the next. I was glad, unlike my own situation, that Kylie's Mom died with her loved one in the room. (However traumatic that is for Kylie.) When the Mom was going on and on about Colten, I felt like everything was so rushed - like we had come to the end of Sarah's life, and the author hadn't had the chance to even mention "Colten" before. I wish the journey in finding her brother could have or would have started a bit before her mother died. Wouldn't the mother wish to see her son before her death? Why didn't Sarah bring it up even with her diagnosis? Why had she hid the truth? 

As the story continues, Adam asks Kylie to move away with him (To give up her job, place of living .. etc) just shortly after her mother dies. I got really irritated that Adam would even ask Kylie of that - and make it a "You either want to be with me, or you don't," kind of situation. (Really Adam! I thought you were better than that!) It really drove home the whole ideal that "No one knows what it's like, until they've lived it." I kept saying, "Kylie, you don't need that in your life right now."  --- even though, as I read more, I realized that I was enabling Kylie to live in her grief. Just as I am - living in my grief. :/ (Profound moments, I'm telling you!) 

We get to see the characters develop and grow without each other - Kylie finds Colten, Adam focuses on his band and friends,  but they also grow towards each other; they miss each other and see their mistakes. Kylie realizes that she really and truly loves Adam, and had made a mistake in blocking him out (which, in all honesty is pretty normal for someone in mourning!) I was pleased with the ending though (Really, Adam - 6 months? lol) 

All in all, without me going on and on about "Waiting for You," I'd totally recommend this to someone who enjoys Women's Fiction. I wanted to say this was almost a "coming of age" story, without the whole "I'm a teenager" bit. It was a "coming to" novel - growing, developing, mourning, loving - living. This was my first real taste of this genre and I wasn't disappointed at all. I'd give this novel 4 out of 5 stars! 


About The Author: 



Allison Williford is a Women's Fiction author, blogger, and all around nerd. She is the owner and operator of The Sentranced Writer, a blog dedicated to helping other writers.

Originally from upstate New York, she now lives in coastal North Carolina with her husband and their dog, Wilson. In addition to writing, Allison is a mental illness awareness and suicide prevention advocate.

When not glued to her writing or with her nose in a book, Allison enjoys free time at the beach, boogie boarding, copious amounts of coffee, romps in the yard with her dog, and also saying hello to every dog she meets.


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Comments

Thanks so much for your review! I'm glad you enjoyed Waiting for You. It was emotional just for me while writing it.

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