I recently received a free ebook copy of A Life Apart by L.Y. Marlow from Blogging for Books. I received no compensation for this review and all opinions are my own.
Now on to the review!
Choices, consequences, and grief. These are the main themes of L.Y. Marlow’s A Life Apart. Morris, our protagonist, is caught in a life of his own creation. The book begins in the 1940s outside Boston, Massachusetts. Morris finds out as a teenager that he will become a father. He does the “right thing” and marries his girlfriend Agnes, though he isn’t sure he is in love with her. Agnes, however, feels that she has found her soul mate in Morris. Shortly after their child’s birth, Morris joins the navy and is involved with the bombing at Pearl Harbor. This event alters their lives forever.
Morris is saved by a black man, Robert, after the bombing. He spends his time searching for Robert before discovering he died that fateful day. Morris is resolved to find his family to inform them of Robert’s bravery; despite social mores that prohibit whites from associating with those of other races. Morris is able to track down Robert’s sister, Beatrice, who oddly lives close to his hometown. Once he and Beatrice meet, it becomes love at first sight despite all the barriers against them – namely Morris’ wife Agnes and the color barrier.
The book follows these intermingled families through several decades. Morris feels much grief from his decisions and inability to find happiness for himself and those he loves. He doesn’t want to hurt those around him, so he becomes paralyzed and unable to keep stringing his families along. The book ends in a circular fashion, with resolution being found for everyone.
This book was an interesting and good read. It highlights individualism during world events and how we are all interrelated in some ways. Despite Morris’ betrayal of his wife and daughter, I found myself pitying him. Overall, a good read and I would recommend this to others.
Have you read A Life Apart? How about another book with similar themes? What did you think?