Sarah Jio puts a new spin on homelessness in her latest novel, Always. We all know it can happen to anyone. But, do you expect to find the man you loved living on the streets?
Kailey Crane's life is just about perfect. She has a wonderful job as a reporter for the Seattle Herald. She's getting married to a wonderful man, Ryan. She should be perfectly happy. But, she and Ryan agree to disagree when it comes to his businesses and her investigative reporting. She puts her heart into her stories, including her latest one about development pushing out the homeless in Seattle. Then, one night after dinner at a restaurant, a homeless man looks familiar to Kailey. When she looks into his eyes, she recognizes Cade, the man she loved ten years earlier, the man who disappeared from her life.
Where has Cade been for ten years? How did a successful record producer end up on the streets of Seattle? It's a mystery Kailey is determined to solve. First, though, she's determined to help the man she once loved. He may not recognize her. He seems to have lost his memory. But, she knows somewhere inside is the man she thought was the love of her life. And, Kailey Crane is willing to turn her life upside down to help him.
There's a comment in this book that Kailey and Ryan agreed not to talk about the ghosts of their youthful loves. But, it's obvious from the beginning where this book is headed. And, the ending is just a little too happily-ever-after pat for me. From the moment Kailey sees Cade on the street, she and her former roommate are drawn back into his life. Jio alternates the chapters, showing Kailey's life in 2008, and her life in 1998 when she first fell in love with Cade. Jio says she wanted to show the Seattle she remembered, the music, the life. She wrote about the Seattle she loved in the 1998 chapters, and the business world of Seattle in 2008. The connection? Kailey Crane, a woman who remembers with her heart. At times, the story seems too simple. But, it isn't simple for Kailey.
Homelessness. Brain injury. Remembered love. Seattle. Sarah Jio brings them all together in her latest novel, Always.
Sarah Jio's website is www.sarahjio.com
Always by Sarah Jio. Ballantine Books. 2017. ISBN 9781101885024 (hardcover), 288p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.