I've decided that coffee is the liquid magic. I'm swimming in so much positive energy I don't even feel that hurt by the author right now.
Or maybe my relative peace is partially due to the healing power of time. It did happen pretty soon after I started this book yesterday. "It" being the single cruelest blow I have ever taken in the fictional world. When my fascination with pregnancy/baby led me to the epilogue, to the cruelest sentences I had ever read. I shut my Kindle, felt my whole world morph into one thought of unbearable agony, and snapped right out from under their spell to tumble into a severe existential crisis. What was the point? I questioned. Of reading? Of my pathetic, wasted life? I suppose I read to escape -- to a better life. To experience things I will never ever get to experience in reality. To find my happy place. That's why I do my best to only choose books that showcase the beautiful side of life and never the ugly. Why would I willingly seek unhappiness? And man, does Tarryn Fisher deliver on THAT. Small hurts here and there I can mostly manage to ignore. One I want to exorcise here in this non-review, also baby related because the culmination of an eternal love into the miracle of life, into the endless continuance of both halves of that love is such a beautiful, hopeful concept, it's really, truly, monumentally important to me. If I could somehow, someday make my peace with the fact that it's forever taken from Olivia and Caleb, then of course I wouldn't want Caleb to have it with anyone else. I was cautiously happy after the end of the second book. Then during spoiler-reading this book, I got scared and so upset for a minute by hints to the contrary before coming across a mention of paternity test result and I was so happy I was euphoric. It almost softened the blow in the epilogue. That little piece of happiness was taken away from me today, when I honestly wasn't expecting any more anguish from this story.
Drowning in pain that felt worse than hell, I immediately and absolutely wanted to drop this book and never pick it up again. But I HAD to finish what I started. Also, a rational, grown-up voice whispered: why place such significance on one measly page out of hundreds? I sucked it up and finished the series, but I know exactly why. Characters I love don't come by every day. They're precious to me and they deserve a great ending because when I love them, in my mind they cease to be fictional -- they become human beings to me. They claim permanent residence in my heart. They become my friends. If the author achieved this magnificent feat, how could she not be capable of giving them a decent ending? She most certainly was capable. So, I hate her for intentionally robbing me of that. I hate not being able to imagine my beloved Olivia and Caleb somewhere in an alternate universe, living happily ever after with their own little angels after suffering through so much. So much. Why would the author do this to me? To shove extreme sadness down my throat so I would be forced to recognize happiness in my life by comparison? I hope someday I can understand because Olivia and Caleb's story is so beautiful, it doesn't deserve anything from me other than appreciation.