Lily Bloom is not having the best day. She just buried her father, and is looking for a little piece and quiet when her rooftop reverie is interrupted. She decides to be okay with the intruder, when she sees how handsome he is. Ryle is a neurosurgeon and as new to Boston as Lily is. They immediately hit it off, but she never expects to see him again.
A few months later, Lily has opened her own flower shop and hired her first employee, Allysa. When Lily falls and hurts her ankle, Allysa calls her brother in to help. Who else would it be but Ryle?
Lily and Ryle start a whirlwind romance. Ryle, who never wanted a relationship, falls quickly for Lily, and she does the same. Everything seems to be going well, until Atlas shows up.
Atlas was Lily’s first love, back when they were just teenagers. He was squatting in the empty house next door to her. She decided to help him, and they grew together. Both were from abusive households and knew what the other had suffered.
Lily hadn’t seen Atlas in years, but she never forgot him. His resurfacing at the same time as she began dating Ryle made everything complicated, and brought out the worst in Ryle. One night, in a fit of jealously, he pushed Lily and she fell down the stairs.
This behavior is nothing new to Lily– her father was abusive, and her mother always stayed. But she won’t be that woman.
I think this book is an important look at the realities of abusive relationships. Outsiders can’t see everything, can’t accept that the victim keeps going back. But love does crazy things to you– like making you want to believe in promises that won’t be kept. Colleen Hoover’s note at the end of the book speaks to why she chose to write this book, and I appreciate the story more knowing where she was coming from.
There’s a lot of love in this book. There’s friendship, and compassion, and some R-rated moments. But there’s also an important strength in Lily, and I think she’s one of my favorite female characters.
If you’re not a Colleen Hoover fan yet, you will be.