And now to the synopsis:
Finding love once is a gift. Finding it twice - young widow Kate Waithman understands just how lucky that is. A music therapist in New York City, Kate is newly engaged to a handsome, successful man. Life should be just about perfect, except that suddenly Kate is having unsettling dreams about her first husband. In those dreams, Patrick didn't die on that terrible night twelve years ago, and he and Kate have a daughter, Hannah. The feelings and images are so vivid, so right, that Kate doesn't know what to think. Is Patrick trying to tell her something, or is she just afraid to grasp this second chance at happiness?
Slowly, piece by piece, Kate's dream world hands her clues. And as she puts them together, what she finds are unexpected revelations about trusting herself, about hope after heartache, and about Patrick himself. Most of all, Kate learns that even in loss, love never really leaves, but waits to guide us exactly where we need to be.
I really liked a whole bunch about this book (obviously):
1. The book taught me a lot about musical therapy, foster care (we all know that Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers, one of my top 12 all-time, was about foster care; but it was more what happens after a foster care child ages out of the system), and the deaf and hard of hearing. I love to learn stuff and still get caught up in a good book. And this isn't even historical fiction!
2. The dream sequences kept me trying to figure out what was going on. I typically just let a book tell me these things when it's ready. But Kristin had me reading TLI like it was a mystery or suspense novel.
3. I was very impressed that every time I read a passage that created a question in my mind, Kristin basically gave me an answer right away. And every answer was right on.
4. I was an emotional wreck throughout much of the book. I felt so connected to Kate, especially when she was working with the deaf and hard of hearing. This was, in part, due to having just seen Mandy Harvey in concert (for those of you who don't remember, or never knew, Mandy was the outstanding singer on last season's America's Got Talent who also happened to be deaf). But whether that was much of a contributing factor or not, it was impossible not to care deeply for the deaf and hard of hearing kids that Kate worked with and the connection they had.
5. I really enjoyed learning the story behind the creation of The Beatles' Heh Jude.
6. The book was well-written from the get-go to the end. I won't quote you any of the passages because I don't want to make the review too annoyingly long. But trust me on this one.
And now...drum roll please...for the takeaway that you have been so patiently(?) waiting for:
At one point, Kate trips over a box in her attic. It tips onto its side and a bunch of paper spills out. As she's going through it, do you know what she finds? It's Patrick's list of 100 reasons why he loves her. You know, 100 is a lot. But we can all do 10, can't we? That's what I will be writing to Joni on Valentine's Day. I am very excited to do this. It could EASILY end up being more. But 10 seems like a number that any of us could make time to come up with, don't you think?
So, yeah, this is a really, really good book. I feel very fortunate to have 2-4/4s within a couple of months of each other. My reading future looks bright!