Welcome to my blog tour stop for Jennifer Gold’s upcoming release Keep Me Afloat (releasing March 3, 2020 from Lake Union Publishing). The tour is hosted by Comet Readings Book Tours.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Five years ago, marine biologist Abby Fisher made a mistake that cost her everything. Rather than face the consequences, she fled home to start anew—and built the career she’d always dreamed of. But when her research program runs out of funding, she’s adrift once again and decides to return to the safe harbor of her family and friends.
Except nothing at home is how she remembered.
Her friendships are strained, her normally affectionate parents seem distant, and her once-great love story is now just a painful memory. What’s worse, she keeps running into the people she hurt years ago—and they aren’t ready to forgive her.
Abby is determined to atone for her mistakes, but she can’t seem to move beyond her guilt for a chance of future happiness. Can Abby learn to sail through the storm, or will she remain lost at sea?
Poignant and heartfelt, Keep Me Afloat asks the question: How can you expect forgiveness from others if you can’t even forgive yourself?
This book turned out to be a delightful surprise. Obviously I was expecting to find some joy in it, or I wouldn’t have agreed to review it for this tour. However, never having read Gold’s writing before, I didn’t know what kind of a reading experience to expect. I ended up completely immersed in Abby’s journey, and binged this book in two sittings on my couch. Delightful surprise.
Before we get to the nitty gritty of the story, let’s talk about the way the story is told: dual timelines. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times. . . I love dual timelines. My love for this storytelling technique is twofold. First, I love the suspense it builds, even when the story isn’t one that normally lends itself to suspense or mystery. It keeps me on my toes, constantly seeking out clues as to how the timelines will connect. And second, it keeps the story from feeling monotonous. I appreciate the way the switch breaks up the story without causing it to lose momentum.
So now let’s talk about the story itself. If you’re guessing that it’s filled with personable and unique characters who tug at your emotions as you follow them on their paths, then you’d be right. (Have I ever mentioned my love of character-driven novels before?) Which actually ties in with the dual timelines nicely. The current timeline follows Abby as she struggles to find her way to self acceptance and that feeling of peace that comes with having found your place. The “past” timeline starts while she’s in high school, and follows her coming-of-age journey. I loved the experience of following these two paths, how they made Abby a more substantial and well-rounded character.
There were a lot of poignant moments in this story, a lot of self discovery, but also a lot of happy moments and scenes that warm your heart. A lot of moments that would make for really good book club discussion. I’d definitely recommend adding this to your list (TBR, buddy reads, book club) and getting a preorder in ASAP. **Scroll down for giveaway info!**
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Book stats: paperback, 382 pages, Lake Union Publishing, March 3, 2020
You can follow the rest of the tour stops and be entered into a GIVEAWAY for an autographed copy of the book HERE!