Monday, October 7, 2019

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: If I Had Two Lives, by Abbigail N. Rosewood {ends 10/14}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

I chose this part of the beach because I’d sensed somehow that Lilah would prefer not to be disturbed. I realized now that it wasn’t necessary to try to find an empty stretch of beach. With the snow falling so thick and the wind bellowing even louder than the ocean, nobody could see or hear us from two or three feet away, even if they somehow desired to be out in this bleary white. Her outline was beginning to disappear when she turned around and waited for me.

“So, what are you doing in Montauk?” she asked.

“Just trying to remember some things. It’s my first long stretch of time off from work in two years,” I said.

“I get it. I’m so forgetful myself.”

My heart was beating faster. I was glad we were now side by side and she couldn’t see my face.

“There are things you wish you could forget though. Don’t you think?” she said.

“No. I want to remember everything that’s ever happened.”


“Forgetting is natural. Remembering is much harder,” I said.

I love to read a story that’s so well-told and resonates so much that it comes to life. This novel was so beautifully written, it feels more like a true memoir.

Official synopsis: 
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: If I Had Two Lives, by Abbigail N. Rosewood {ends 10/14}
As a child, isolated from the world in a secretive military encampment with her distant mother, she turns for affection to a sympathetic soldier and to the only other girl in the camp, forming two friendships that will shape the rest of her life.

As a young adult in New York, cut off from her native country and haunted by the scars of her youth, she is still in search of a home. She falls in love with a married woman who is the image of her childhood friend, and follows strangers because they remind her of her soldier. When tragedy arises, she must return to Vietnam to confront the memories of her youth – and recover her identity.

An inspiring meditation on love, loss, and the presence of a past that never dies, the novel explores the ancient question: do we value the people in our lives because of who they are, or because of what we need them to be?

I read this book hoping for a happier story than the last couple of books I read. While this wasn’t a happy book, it certainly was a graceful story about a character who accepts her life. She doesn’t spend time lamenting what she doesn’t have, or searching to have and be more. She accepts that life is made up of all the moments we experience, and their variety is what makes life full.

The main character’s early life is shaped first by missing her mother, then by living on a military encampment to be with her mother. They are surrounded by only soldiers and a cook and his daughter, near the girl’s age. When she turns 12, the main character is sent to be with family and friends she doesn’t know in the U.S. In her adulthood, she spends much of her time reflecting on the life she left behind in Vietnam, until she finally returns to resolve the mysteries of her youth.

I loved the author’s use of words. It felt like actual thoughts from the main character. The narrative prose flowed in a way that felt smooth and realistic. Overall, I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a beautiful book about a not entirely beautiful life.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley leads of life of little mystery at


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of If I Had Two Lives!

Enter to win via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, October 14th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.

Good luck!

If I Had Two Lives, by Abbigail N. Rosewood


Post a Comment

Share buttons


Welcome to Books I Think You Should Read, which focuses on book reviews, author interviews, giveaways, and more.
Get new posts by email:

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Liz has read 0 books toward her goal of 25 books.

Blog Archive