4.5 heart melting Stars
I’ve written about family before. About how family is a choice. And it comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. And that at the end of the day, blood often has very little to do with what ends up being your real family. The family we choose for ourselves has everything to do with unconditional love, honesty, respect and the continual choice to keep showing up for whatever your family needs.
Poughkeepsie is about family in the truest sense of the word. It’s about people that never should have found each other, coming together to form the closest knit group of people I’ve read about in a very long time. A group of people where everyone has a job, a place and purpose. From being the protector to being the very heart and soul that keeps thumping its way towards weaving that bond through their very DNA.
Livia and Kyle McHugh are sisters. They are so very, very different on the outside. Livia is studious, centered and driven. Kyle is colorful, vivid and loud. Livia takes care of everyone around her out of reflex. Kyle not only follows the beat of her own drummer, but constantly wails on the entire drum set, changing up the rhythm to suit her fancy on any given day. They compliment each other so beautifully and produce some of the sweetest, funniest interactions I’ve seen on the page in a very long time.
Beckett Taylor, Cole Bridge and Blake Hartt are brothers of the most unconventional methods. Landing in the same foster home together, they chose each other as more than siblings when the system thrust them together to walk through hell arm in arm and see each other safely through. Beckett is brash, dangerous and ridiculously funny. Cole is quiet and soulful. Blake is fragile and nurturing. Again, these three compliment each other so beautifully as they’ve forged their way in this world that can be so very, very cold to those who choose to live outside the box.
Eve Hartt is brutal, stunningly gorgeous and a stone cold killer. Tragedy took her warmth and her heart and not only encased it in ice, but took away her will to ever chip those pieces of herself free again. She sets herself on a terrible mission that ends up incredible complicated in ways she never could have foreseen.
Debra Anastasia has written these six characters in such a way that not only do I want to know them in real life, I’m pretty sure I’m going to run into them turning a corner one day. This book is real, honest and inspiringly three dimensional in its telling and progression. Her characters make mistakes, they laugh, they drink, they fight and they love with every single cell in their bodies. They are extraordinary in everything they do and their story is heart meltingly authentic in its pain and triumph. This book is terrifically well balanced between deeply emotional interactions, tremendously funny tension breakers and soul liberating epiphanies.
While the course of this book takes less than a year, it has a decidedly epic feel to the depth and breadth of the storytelling. When you pick this book up, be ready for a journey that will take you from safe and sound to the brink of heartbreak and back again. When you pick up this book, be ready for your definition of family to be forever changed for the better. When you pick up this book, be ready to be whisked away on the backs of these extraordinary characters and their intense stories. When you pick up this book, be ready to be touched in a way that happens seldomly.