Fifteen years ago I met Sayer Wesley. I fell in love with him. I promised I would never leave him. I swore nothing could break us apart.
Confession: This is my first book by Rachel Higginson. Put those tomatoes and eggs away, I’ll fix it, I swear.
The love for your child is all consuming. A good mother is like a bear, there is nothing she wouldn’t do to protect her children. She also makes enormous sacrifices to give her kids the best life they can have at the expense of her own happiness. This, in a nutshell, is Caro, the heroine of Constant.
Caro ran away from her old life that was full of deceit, lies, danger and a beautiful man who had been the love of her life for 15 years. The courage it must take to cut ties with everything your life used to be has to be breathtaking but there is a very valid reason for her to break her promise to the man she swore she would stand with through it all. Caro is as resilient as they come, tough as steel, cunning, and can lie and manipulate like the best of them. Now she’s living always with one eye over her shoulder, and although paranoid she’s trying to live a normal and inconspicuous life, always expecting for her old life to catch up. And it does.
Past meet present. Life meet death.
This story is cleverly written with flashbacks into Sayer and Caro’s past so that we understand that Caro really didn’t have a choice than to up and leave. It also shows us that their love is the once-in-a-lifetime-kind so to cut the ties, on both accounts, must have been harrowing.
When Sayer is back in her life he is understandably angry. And who wouldn’t be? He doesn’t have the whole picture.
He was at once utterly beautiful and every nightmare I had ever had come to life.
Although the book is told only from Caro’s point of view I could still see how Sayer has become the man he is now, the changes between the Sayer of then and now are notable. Where the boy was reverent and enraptured in his love for Caro, the man is hardened, often cruel with his words and they didn’t only hurt Caro, they hurt me too. So bad that the knots in my stomach had knots.
Sayer is Caro’s Archilles heel so he figures out fast where the chinks in her armor are. But despite the (really huge) chip on his shoulder there is a sense of longing. The feeling of Sayer’s hurt is just as visceral as Caro’s guilt. Neither of them has gotten over the other.
I had never had a choice in loving Sayer. I just had. Always. Since the day I met him, he had been it for me.
The book ends on a brutal cliffhanger and I wanted to throw things. Yes, it wasn’t pretty. While the author did a fantastic job letting us see Sayer through Caro’s eyes I would have loved his point of view, only because I didn’t want his words to hurt so bad. But that’s entirely selfish. I also enjoyed getting to know the secondary characters. Juliet was cute as a button and Francesca and Gus not just accessories, their voices were complex for the side-cast.
If there is one thing that I would like to point out it’s that the first 25-30% are a little slower than the rest of the book. However, this is a complex plot and there is no way around taking the time to establish the background and setup for the events that follow. And she really digs deep into it. Once that’s out of the way the story notably picks up and then it’s angst galore. As for the author’s writing style, she made an amazing first impression. I love how it flows so easily.
So now I start waiting for book 2. I hate Rachel Higginson a little for making me wait but I also love her because she asked me to read and review Constant. This epic love story goes right on my favorite-shelf – it’s brilliantly told and will have you biting your finger nails. I loved every suspenseful second of it!
Tonight had been a fiery culmination of everything between us. Fireworks and explosions and the melding of two hearts that formerly belonged in two different bodies. Now I held his within me. And he owned every inch of mine.