Author: Tara Sivec
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
More Info: Goodreads
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I guess this is it, huh? After fourteen years together, starting a life of our own on this island, five deployments and countless letters I’ve written you through it all, I finally go out to the mailbox and see something I’ve always dreamed of: an envelope with your handwriting on it. For one moment, I actually thought you’d changed your mind, that all the awful things you said to me were just your way of coping after everything you’d been through. I was still here, Fisher. I was still here, holding my breath, waiting for you to come back even though you told me you never would. You always said you’d find your way back to me. Out of all the lies you’ve told me, this one hurts the most.
Enclosed you will find the signed divorce papers, as requested.
I hope you find what you’re looking for. I’m sorry it wasn’t me.
To get the ending they want, Lucy and Fisher will have to go back to the beginning. Through the good and the bad, they’ll be reminded of why they always made their way back to each other, and why this time, one way or another, it will be the last time.
At the end of a long, dark hallway, there’s a door. It’s the same average, everyday wooden door that can be found in almost every house, condo or apartment anywhere in the world. Just looking at this door, there’s nothing special about it. Made of oak, it has a few nicks and scratches from years of wear and tear, it creaks when you open it and sticks when it’s humid outside and the wood expands. Locked away behind the door, though, is the shit no one wants to know about. The memories, the nightmares and all the reasons my life is a fucked up mess lie just inside that door in a pile of regret. I lost everything because of that damn door, because my mind splintered into a thousand pieces and I couldn’t tell the difference between dreams and reality. I became a different man.
A dangerous man.
A suicidal man.
Some days, I think of that door as a barrier between me and the dark corners of my subconscious, a place to stockpile the skeletons of my past so that I don’t have to look at them or think about them. Other days, that door busts wide open and I am forced to relive every mistake I’ve made. I can walk into the room, sweat running down my back, and run my hands over every item that carved me into the man I’ve become. I can dig through the shoebox on the end of the bed and run the tips of my fingers over each letter she sent me, I can pick up the Purple Heart from the top of the dresser and feel the cold weight of the bronze medal and the satin purple ribbon in the palm of my hand, and I can lift the backpack off the floor in the corner of the room and smell the heat from the desert and the metallic hint of dried blood splattered on the camouflage design.
It’s not long before the sounds of war fill my ears and only seconds until I’m clutching my head with shaking hands and a pounding heart, trying to determine the source of the most tormented, heartbroken noises I’ve ever heard, the crying and the begging so loud that they can be heard even over the gunfire. It’s only when I realize that the horrified screams are coming from me, that I’m the one pleading for mercy, that I slam shut that door in my mind, begging anyone that’ll listen to take away the grief and the pain so that I never go back inside that room.
This is where my story begins.
I can never really decide.
The mind is a great and powerful thing, bisected with hallways of darkness and corners of light. Memories can alternately fill your life with joy and happiness and cloud every moment with nightmares and fear, making you second-guess all of the good things and wonder if they were ever real. Was I happy? Did I ever smile and laugh easily without a care in the world? How do I get that back when the darkness is hell bent on taking over, holding me in its clutches and making sure I never see the sunshine again?
I’m going to figure it out even if it kills me. I’m going to piece together the fractures in my mind and I will take back what’s mine. I don’t blame her for walking away; I shoved her out the door and told her to go. I should have realized that she was my light. She was everything bright and beautiful about my life and it went to shit after she left.
I’m going to fix this. I have to fix this. I hate being in this place filled with people who think they know everything about me. I hate every moment that I’m away from her, but I will do whatever it takes to find the man she once loved and bring him back to her.
I’m going to kick down that fucking door at the end of the long, dark hallway and show everyone that I deserve the light.
This has to be without a doubt, one of the most heart-wrenching and accurate portrayals of PTSD and the effects it has on the soldier as well as their family. I am a sucker for well written contemporary romances that involve military men, so add in the fact that one of my favorite authors penned the story and I was over the moon! There was absolutely nothing black and white between these pages and you will most assuredly feel every inch (no pun intended). Sivec continues to baffle me with her ability to take me to places I didn’t think were even available to reach. There was something so real about this story that you don’t much see anymore. There was an honesty and raw intensity, broaching a subject that for too long has been kept in the shadows. I applaud her for not only tackling it with ease, but not shying away from the ugly bits. From start to finish, this was a pure masterpiece.
If I’m small enough, maybe I won’t want to die from the enormity of the pain.
If I’m small enough, maybe I won’t feel like such a failure.
I adored the timeline changes in Fisher’s Light. Though they were frequent, and you would think this could get confusing, I felt like they flowed effortlessly. There was never a time where I was confused what was happening and when. At the same time, they were all absolutely necessary and wouldn’t have had such a profound impact had they been told any other way. I thought it was brilliant how there were some scenes in the beginning that we got in Lucy’s POV and then later in the story we saw them through Fisher’s eyes and mind. There is one scene in particular that carries an emotional punch more-so than the others. Without going into detail, it’s seen through Lucy’s eyes, then Fisher’s, and then Lucy’s again as she reads what was going through Fisher’s mind. And I so wish I could go into more detail, but just know that when you read them, you will no doubt know exactly what I’m speaking of. I can’t explain exactly what it made me feel, only that it was utterly profound. My heart was pounding as it shattered into a thousand pieces and I felt like the words were literally jumping from the page at me.
I don’t need air when his breath is in my mouth, giving me life.
This is one of those stories that you are unable to read and not be affected. The subject matter and hope throughout demand it. It’s the kind of story that begs you to believe, pleads with you to forgive, and takes all your wills to not fall completely apart. And yet Sivec still manages to inject her quirky humor throughout the pages, giving you a reality check. One of the things I have always loved about her stories is the unfaltering honesty they portray. She doesn’t tell stories with unnatainable billionaires, minuscule women, and fantastical locales. She dares to be different by portraying the norm. And you know what? I find it breathtaking. Sure it’s nice sometimes to get lost in a fantasy world, but what really gets my blood pumping is reading about characters that could feasibly be me. Characters that would be your neighbors. Characters that would be your friends. Because that makes them more attainable and blurs the line between fantasy and reality. And those types of stories are the ones that are always going to leave their mark on my soul.
I will always find my way back to her.
The struggle was real folks. The struggle back to Lucy and Fisher that is. These characters ripped me to shreds in the most delicious ways. Not every book benefits from dual POV’s, but this story definitely needed it. To grasp the full impact of their intricacies with each other, it was necessary to experience what they both were thinking and feeling. I fell in love with the way he loved Lucy. The intensity of it, the strength of it, the protectiveness of it. She was truly his world, and the day began and ended with her being happy. I loved her unfaltering loyalty to her man. I loved that she was his light in the darkness, his air needed to breathe. That kind of love can be overwhelming and all-encompassing, but at the same time, it’s exactly what the heart needs. They were the definition of being made for one another and their love was so pure it would make the blackest of hearts explode.
How many people get a second chance at love with the only person they’ve ever held in their heart?
To sum it up, even though I stayed up most of the night finishing this and am surviving off very little sleep, my soul feels lighter. The world seems brighter today having experienced this love story. The best authors transport you from your own world and inject you into theirs, and Sivec, as always, aces this feat. She does justice tackling a subject that is either whispered about behind closed doors or ignored altogether, and that in itself if just plain injustice. To think that there are men and women out there who volunteer to put their lives on the line for our freedoms, and are proud to do so, and would then come back home and suffer in shame and silence is a true crime. But the light at the end of this tunnel is that there is hope. There is truth. There is light. And there is always true, beautiful, honest love. And those things will always make the awful worth fighting for.