Sunday, April 2, 2017

We Thought We Knew It All (Invincible #2), by Michelle Lynn

Creativia, March 2017

The teenagers from We Thought We Were Invincible are back, ten years older, ten years...wiser?

Callie went to California, got to know her father, married her father's assistant, Dylan, and had three sons. And now they're divorced. She's already headed back to Gulf City, Florida, when she hears the news that Senator Mark Daniels, Jay and Jamie's father, has died.

Her twin brother, Colby, is already there. He went to medical school, and came back to Gulf City for his residency. He knows his father and his nephews, but stayed in the place he grew up, doing what he always wanted to do.

Morgan is an accountant, working in London.

Jay also stayed in Gulf City, taking over his father's law firm. He's married a woman from elsewhere, someone who wasn't there for the shooting at the school dance that changed all their lives.

Jamie was an Army Ranger, and a good one, and thought he'd found the course of his future life. Then he was badly injured in a mission gone horribly wrong, and has nerve damage in his left arm. He's out, medically retired, just in time to go home for the funeral of the father he hated, with good reason.

Now they're all back in Gulf City together, and except for Colby, always the most stable and straightforward of them all, they all have secrets. The most explosive of these secrets is that Callie doesn't know if her oldest son, Jackson, is Dylan's son or Jamie's. No one except Dylan even knows there could be a question.

These are the kids we knew, grown up, a little older, a little wiser, but still not yet thirty, with a lot of decisions to make about the rest of their lives. Again, as in the previous book, these feel like real people, facing real challenges and choices in their lives. They all have a solid grounding of basic decency and kindness--an example set by Callie and Colby's mother Ally, when she was alive, and by Allie's sister Kat since then. Callie has worked through the knowledge of what really happened to her mother and father, but none of them has worked through their feelings about the school shooting. Jay and Jamie have never worked through their conflicting and conflicted feelings about Senator Daniels. And nobody has forgiven Jamie for simply not staying in touch after he became a Ranger.

They each have big decision to make, that will affect the rest of their lives. Are they going to be able to forgive each other, move forward, make new lives? And what will that look like if they do?

Or are they going to remain mired in the emotions of the past, and not recover from those wounds?

This is a very, very good book, and a very satisfying read, and I feel I'm not doing justice to it.

Highly recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher, and am reviewing it voluntarily.