The blurb reads
THE HEART OF ANNIE tells the story of Lilly Roche and Curtis Walker, whose lives have flourished socially and professionally, but who find themselves single through a combination of circumstance, choice, and heartbreak.
Lilly’s mother passed away when she was a teenager, leaving her to an adolescence spent coping with her father’s depression and her brother’s ceaseless bullying. The divorce of Curtis’ ill-matched parents at age thirteen, and later his own failed engagement, leaves him on emotional cruise control, surfing through dozens of patchwork relationships, unwilling to fully connect.
But one fall when Curtis’ uncle Bob Walker, dear to both Lilly and Curtis, suffers a heart attack, it brings Curtis from Los Angeles to Lilly’s Austin. Their unexpected reconnection-after first meeting as children-shocks them both awake to the desire to pursue love, and more awakened lives for themselves. Lilly begins to find her voice and stand up for herself against her brother. Curtis, at last, puts an end to a casual relationship with his girlfriend, Robin, and taking his first steps in the direction of developing healthier committed relationships, adopts an abandoned German Shepherd.
As Lilly and Curtis fall in love and navigate their new relationship, each character has to learn how to drop their defenses and re-examine their role in creating their own historically stagnant narrative. This insight allows Lilly to begin aggressively defining her boundaries with her family and pursue her own desires, while Curtis begins to shed his cynical abandonment of hope and to reimagine himself as a man worthy of a happy ending.
So I couldn’t get a clearer cover for this from Goodreads which saddens me immensely because while navigating through my huge list of books on my Kindle, this was the one that stood out.
I picked this one on a whim and was immediately sucked into the world of Annie and Curtis. I could feel them, because I know how it feels to have someone suppress your thoughts and ideas. About having to conform and having to live life in a way different from what you planned.
Annie is socially awkward. She has a father and brother who do not care for her in the least and act as constant blood-suckers to her confidence. It is shattering to see how they treat her like garbage and often, while you are reading, you say, “Come on!!! Stand up for yourself”. But for someone who is getting their self-confidence and their ideas belittled and battered down, the fight gets harder as time progresses. You learn to not have a voice of your own.
Curtis is one of those persons who is stuck in his life. He does not appreciate the relationship he has. It lacks depth. His life feels too mechanical. It feels like it is pre-planned and run to the T. There are no surprises left, and somewhere along the way, he forgot to stop and pause. To appreciate life and its beauty. Curtis’s life story probably mirrors so much of our own. Too scared to do anything different, too rigid to make a difference and to change, too accustomed to doing nothing.
This book drew me in so much. There are some books where inspite of the best of settings, you fail to feel anything for the characters you are reading about. At the outset, let me tell you. There is nothing spectacular about this book. Or the characters. They may seem like people you have read about or people you know. But that is where I feel this book is a hidden genius.
I enjoyed this book for its sheer simplicity and characters whose peculiarities and weaknesses rang a little close to home. I don’t recommend this book if you didn’t like the blurb or like fast paced novels. This one was a cute and a slow romance which was built over time. There is no grandiose in the romance which develops over the pages. So think your way through if you want to read this one.
My Rating: 3.5/5