Genre fiction lover: Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy
My favorite character in this whole book was the baby.
My distant second favorite was Alex.
Everyone else could take a seat.
The wife, Keilana, was a controlling shrew. It was obvious her husband, Alex, had really deep issues with his family. Like really deep. And she decides to show up on their doorstep to force his hand in reconciling with his family. No, you don't ambush your husband in that way. I agree that his failure to introduce her or even inform his family that he is married with a wife is ten kinds of fucked up, but you deal with that with your husband. That is his issue, you deal with him on that. You don't go behind his back. It felt manipulative and wrong. And I won't even talk about her 'job changing plans' that spontaneously occurs at the end of the book. Again, no discussion with her husband... just upend their lives because that was she wants. I wanted to throat punch her.
Alex had his issues, sure. But I think the author did a good job of making his issues feel plausible for him. He was upset with his father for cheating on his mother and having a daughter as a result of that affair. He couldn't reconcile that in his head because he felt that it broke his family. He remembers years of them arguing which obviously had a profound effect on him as he was growing up. Fast forward to now the entire rest of the family seems to have forgiven the father and embraced the half-sister. But he hasn't been able to and allowed himself to be come estranged. This to me is a completely valid way for him to feel. And yet the entire book has people lining up to repeatedly tell him how completely invalid his feelings are. I scratch my head at how great a case the author makes for Alex's state of mind and feelings and yet allows the other characters to pile on as if he is in the wrong. And yes, that includes his trifling wife.
Alex's family as a whole were presented as nice, loving decent people. I suppose they were. But they also came off as a bit self righteous with a heaping help of 'let me tell you how you should feel'.
Outside of my dislike of his family there were a couple of things that niggled. The story works in alternating chapters, one from Keilana's POV and one from Alex's. Keilana's are told in first person. Alex's are told in third. I know that this is a narrative decision, but I tend to dislike the changing voices. Not sure why Alex's chapters couldn't also be in first person? This isn't a real knock on eh book, but more of a personal preference.
Also Keilana refers to Alex as 'Alex' and the family refers to him as 'Zander.' This is perfectly fine since that make total sense. But the third person narrative voice referred to him interchangeably as Alex and Zander sometimes in the same paragraph. It was a bit jarring.
The book ends super abruptly with no real conclusion. I gather this is part of some series but I am not interested in following up.