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  • Beautifully written and achingly poignant

    Having heard about The Pieces of You and Me on social media I really wanted to read it. I’m so glad I did. Beautifully written and achingly poignant, this book was perfect. The author manages to combine a romance that you can’t help but root for with an honest portrayal of characters whose lives are impacted by two very different but equally difficult illnesses. Sometimes sad, often moving but never bleak, this book also has elements of joy, I particularly loved the relationship between the two main characters as it moves from childhood to adolescence and the way in which adulthood brings them both a knowledge of self that allows them to develop into something different from that which has passed. Rachel Burton writes with honesty and depth and from now on has a new, committed fan. I absolutely loved it.

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  • Emotive and Well-Crafted

    Favorite Quotes: Gem, I know you’re over the moon about getting married and I’m delighted for you, but it doesn’t mean that you get to matchmake. Even if I am the last one left on the shelf. We were born twelve hours apart – you at six p.m. and me the following morning – in the same hospital, our mothers recovering in beds next to each other… You were early and I was late, which was the pattern that continued for the rest of our lives. You were always waiting for me to catch up with you. Too young to be here, too old not to be. We’d always done terrifying things together. It felt like the first time we jumped into the deep end of the swimming pool, hand in hand, as children. Looking back on it now with the advantage of age and hindsight I realised how foolish I’d been, how foolish we are when we’re young. Maybe that alone was reason enough for us to have gone our separate ways. I had been too young to understand nuanced grey areas of thought back then, too young to understand discretion and diplomacy and how sometimes we have to say things we don’t really mean just to keep the peace. My Review: One of my favorite tropes just so happens to be second-chances, and this couple was more than deserving of a rekindled relationship as they had each been living a rather miserable half-life while a decade apart. Serious health and family issues and tendencies to live too deeply inside their own heads further compounded their pressures and littered their path with landmines. This could easily have been a maudlin tale but Ms. Burton craftily shaped and paced her endearing flawed yet stubborn characters’ insights, memories, and encounters to circumvent the reader falling into the pit of despair. While the narrative was often melancholy and angsty - which typically has me twitching and sighing in agony – I am absolutely astounded to report that I didn’t seem to mind. Ms. Burton may well have deployed some sort of magical word voodoo on her book file as, despite the angst, the tender quality and ingenious tempo of her superb storytelling kept me fully engaged, deeply invested, and intensely curious about their slowly unraveling and intriguing story. Contemplating this surprising and momentous phenomenon leaves me rather astonished and blinking in amazement. Such a sly wordsmith deserves a five-star rating for that alone.

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