In June 1993, in Signal Mountain, Tennessee, Ashley (Ash) Lake’s life is on a downward spiral. When Ash was three years old, she lost both her parents in a plane crash. Ash was the sole survivor out of the plane load of people. Now Ash’s beloved Aunt Selma, who had raised her has died from the cancer she bravely fought so hard. Ash is now all alone in life. As well as still suffering from the survivors guilt she’s battled most of her life, Ash is now wondering if her life is cursed.
While Aunt Selma was bravely fighting cancer, Ash put her up and coming school track and field events and plans for college on hold. Now the battle has been lost, Ash decides to go to New York City with her gay best friend, Austin Taylor.
Ash knows she is just marking time until she makes a decision about where her life is heading. She is still hoping to attend college to pursue her love of running. It’s here in New York City that Ash finally finds her true self.
Some of the things that draw me into Kate Christie’s writing are that her books are well written, well edited, well researched and no two stories are even similar. She is a fantastic storyteller.
This is a young adult book with a sports theme running through it. But, don’t let that put you off if you are over twenty one. I could identify with a lot of the emotionally charged feelings in this story. It is a book with tragedy and loss as well as love and hope and finding oneself and coming to terms with what and who you are. There is a nice sense of humor throughout too. This story will stay with me a long time.
This is not a typical romance. In fact, romance plays a small part and doesn’t come in until very late in the book. It’s the story of Ash’s life and her journey to find herself that takes up most of this book.
The story is set pre 9/11 and from the scenic descriptions, I could immerse myself fully in with the characters and live their lives along side of them back in the 1990’s. Kate Christie covered a lot of ground and emotional topics, AIDS, homophobia, self discovery, friendship, family, coming out. All written with a sympathetic understanding.
I have just one thing I wasn’t too keen on, I would have preferred more of Nic and Ash together and less of Drew and Ash.
I believe there is room for a sequel with these characters. Whether Ash’s happy ever after is with Nic or someone else, they have plenty more to tell us and entertain us with.