Review: Those We Love the Most by Lee Woodruff

September 20, 2012 General Fiction, Hyperion, Review 6

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Voice (September 11, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1401341780
  • Source: Publisher

A split-second distraction forever changed the Corrigan family.  Maura and her husband Pete live a happy life in a Chicago suburb with their three young children. That happiness is shattered one day and Maura is left with guilt, and a horrible secret, haunting her. Her marriage is affected, Pete deals it by drinking, spending late nights out with his friends.

Maura’s parents live nearby, their own marriage suffering difficulties as well. They’ve been married for forty years. Martha is a happy homemaker and Roger works in real estate, traveling quite often trying to land the next deal. Martha is pretty certain Roger has been unfaithful, assuming the trysts are incidental. Overall, their marriage is a happy one and, in Martha’s mind, she’d prefer not to know the specifics about Roger’s infidelity.

Margaret believed it was wife’s job to keep the exterior facade spackled and impenetrable, to prevent the cracks from showing on the outside. In her mind, a classy woman never broke rank.

Yet when circumstances prevent his secrets from remaining hidden, Maura is forced to look at her marriage, and Roger, in a while new light.

Those We Love Most is an incredibly well-crafted novel about the choices we make and dealing with the consequences. Each of the four main characters are extremely well-developed, truly genuine characters. They each have their faults, they are certainly not perfect characters, allowing readers bond and sympathize with them more. What astounded me was the level at which I did sympathize with the characters. While the actions of some infuriated me, I found myself almost forgiving them for their faults, given that the implications of their actions were punishment alone. The journey each of the characters take is profound, from grief to anger and eventually to forgiveness.

Woodruff excelled at portraying a family suffering a great loss, including the wide range of emotions that are often after effects of such a tragedy. Each of the characters are forced to deal with the actions of their decisions, to fight for the ones the love, and in the journey truly realizing what gifts they have in life.

A truly intense and emotional novel, Those We Love Most penetrates to the core, the soul of the reader. This novel should have a warning label: do not read in public or without a tissue handy. As I read, I would take periodic breaks to hug my boys, to tell them I love and cherish them, to thank my husband for being such a wonderful partner in life and father to our two boys. Highly, highly recommended.


6 Responses to “Review: Those We Love the Most by Lee Woodruff”

  1. Adriana Ryan

    I love stories like these. Does it have a Deep End of the Ocean vibe at all? I loved that book. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Laurie C
    Twitter: baystateRA

    Sounds intense! Books with plots that hinge on those split-second distractions or lapse in attention always get to me, because you can so clearly visualize how it could happen to you (like The Deep End of the Ocean)!

  3. Anita
    Twitter: anitalovesbooks

    Love this review!! I really can’t wait to get to this book now!!

  4. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    Wow. At SIBA, Marybeth Whalen was reading this and couldn’t get through it. I think maybe it was too raw for her? Too emotional? I pretty much scratched it off my list at that point, but you have me reconsidering.

  5. Karen White
    Twitter: karenwhitereads

    I am so honored to have narrated this book – coming out very soon from Harper Audio 🙂
    I know some moms that just wouldn’t be able to get past the initial tragic event – and it has haunted me – but I agree with Jen. The book is a wonderfully complex and compelling study of grief and family ties. And the tone really worked for me – hopeful without being saccharine.

  6. Hattie

    A tragedy can take a family in unexpected directions. It’s like a bomb as fallen in the middle of the living room floor and blasted each person away to another place. I keep thinking a tragedy has happened in my family. No one will tell me. They say “everything is fine.” But everybody is acting so peculiar. It’s such a bad feeling. Enjoyed reading your review. It’s really interesting.