It Can Happen In the Blink of an Eye

“It seems to you that the water is always trying to lure its children back, whispering through human dreams, as if your lungs recall breathing water, your old gills strain under the surface of your skin, the webs between your fingers and toes twitch and try to grow, your limbs dream of weightlessness. You are made of water and you can never leave it.”

Life can change in an instant. One day your driving home from work, thinking about the weekend ahead with your family, you’re planning to have pizza tonight, maybe a glass or two of red wine, go for an evening swim with your family, you may watch a movie or you may go to bed and just be grateful for the life that you live. That’s what the Brennan’s life was. They may have had their issues but, at the end of the day, they were a family and their happiness was most important.

Then, a tragedy, an unthinkable, gut-wrenching, life-changing tragedy occurs. Leaving Finn, Bridgett and Jarrah Brennan picking of the shattered pieces of what their lives, at one point, resembled.

In this heartbreaking novel, you follow the Brennans as they navigate through their grief and anger in search of forgiveness. After their life is changed for forever, they will search for answers. What happened? Who’s to blame? Will they ever be able to recover? In the Blink of an Eye by Jesse Blackadder is told from the perspective of each of the Brennans.

When I first chose this book to read, I really wasn’t sure what to expect.After reading that first page, I knew exactly what was going to happen and it tore my heart to shreds. This was an incredibly difficult read for me, I had to stop on multiple occasions just so I could process what was happening. Jesse Blackadder touched on grief in such a real way that I actually researched about her to see if she had been through this same tragedy. I think this is a book that parents should read but please, let me warn you, it will not be easy—this is a book that brings every parent’s nightmare to the surface.

By giving each character their own chapter, you could see how they, each, went through the grieving process. There was denial, anger, depression, and bargaining all occurring for each person. I also appreciate that Blackadder highlighted how different each person’s grief can be; there is no black and white when it comes to dealing with a tragedy.

There are countless emotions to unpack within the pages of this novel; I’m not entirely sure that I was able to really sift through them. There were points that the Brennans grief was so real that I could feel it coming off the pages. There were also pages that I became so angry at one of the characters because of how unfairly they were treating their family that I had to put the book down and do something else. But, that’s the beauty of this story. It highlights all of the aspects that go into the grieving process and just how difficult forgiveness can truly be.

Thank you to Jesse Blackadder for writing such a poignant story and for breaking my heart. I will remember this story for a long time to come.

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