Within minutes of arriving in her hometown after an eight year absence, Julianna Markum runs into Pace Carter, the last person she expected to see. Pace was her best friend during high school, but she left town without telling him, knowingly breaking his heart. Now that she’s back to help care for her ailing aunt, Julianna wants to make things right with Pace. If she could only find the words to explain why she left and why she didn't tell him goodbye.
*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of A Reason To Stay from author L.S. Murphy in exchange for an honest review. We thank Linda for the book!
There are two things that I absolutely love reading about. One is past. Things left undone, words left unsaid, doing things without explaining why you did them and doing what feels like the right thing to do at a certain time. And two is best friends becoming lovers. I love reading about such relationships. It makes sense and gives you hope. A Reason To Stay has both . It is a wonderful, moving, mild and simple story about family, friends, love and relationships. Also, another awesome thing about the story is that it is set in a small town which makes it homely, believable and intimate.
Julianna and Pace have been best friends since the time Pace's grandmother babysat the two kids who were also neighbours. They went to school together, spend their free time together, basically they grew up together. They were the kind of best friends who shared everything with each other, be it thoughts, views, hopes, dreams, aspirations or even their respective relationship statuses. The two were inseparable until there came a time when Julianna had to suffer the tragic loss of her parents, after which she decides to find out more about their disappearance and leaves everything behind to begin her search.
After her parent's death, Aunt Helen takes Julianna into her own home and takes care of her. Aunt Helen's health is getting worse day by and day and Julianna is forced to return to her hometown to give to her aunt all the love and care that she had received. She meets Pace again and it's like the two were never really apart.
Julianna was a great protagonist. She was brave and smart. I liked how she didn't give in to everything and thought about the consequences of all her actions. She did what she felt was right and had her own understandable reasons for it. Pace was such a sweet-heart. He was the simple, sweet, patient and down-to-earth guy who we all love. Julianna and Pace share a lovely relationship. Julianna's family formed a major part of the story. Be it aunt Helen or her cousin Stacey, they were all very kind hearted and warm people.
Author L.S. Murphy's writing has a really nice flow to it. I loved how Julianna and Pace's childhood memories were put in here and there to show how strong a bond they share. A short read that can be finished in one sitting, A Reason To Stay is a cute and emotional story, the end of which will leave you smiling.