Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree

Perfectly Undone
Jamie Raintree
Contemporary Women's Fiction
Graydon House
October 3, 2017
e-book, paperback, audiobook
304

A stirring debut rife with intoxicating family secrets and dazzling insights into our most basic desires, Perfectly Undone offers an intimate, uncensored exploration of forgiveness and fidelity, in all its forms, as a young doctor struggles with her sister's death—and the role she played in it—while her own picture-perfect relationship and promising career unravel around her.

Yes is such a little word…

Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for a perfect life, so when her longtime boyfriend, Cooper, gets down on one knee, it should be the most perfect moment of all. Then why does she say no?

For too many years, Dylan's been living for her sister, who never got the chance to grow up. But her attempt to be the perfect daughter, perfect partner and perfect doctor hasn't been enough to silence the haunting guilt Dylan feels over her sister's death—and the role no one knows she played in it.

Now Dylan must face her past if she and Cooper stand a chance at a future together. But when Cooper makes a startling confession of his own, can Dylan find the courage to define her own happiness before her life becomes perfectly undone?

Set among the breezy days of a sultry Portland summer, Perfectly Undone is a deeply moving novel of family secrets, forgiveness and finding yourself in the most surprising of places.

Sometimes you have to lose your way to find yourself

“Many women have walked the line between career and love, family and self. Raintree handles the balance with grace and wisdom. Her writing is clear and crisp, the emotion raw and without melodrama. From family secrets to heartbreaking lost love, the characters felt like old friends by the end. Highly recommended.”—New York Times bestselling author Kate More

When your whole life falls apart, it’s time to figure out what really matters…

This is author Jamie Raintree’s first book. She has a long history of familiarity with writing, but Perfectly Undone is her first published novel. You can immediately tell that she has talent. Her words are chosen carefully and well. Her subject matter is important and interesting. And her ability to use descriptives helps you to connect with the scene and the dialogue.

Dr. Dylan Michels is a driven and dedicated OB-GYN. She has been together with fellow doctor, Cooper, a pediatrician, for nine years. But Dylan has secrets in her past. And these secrets prevent her from ever completely letting her guard down, or allowing herself to fully accept all the good things in her life. Focused on obtaining a competitive grant, Dylan tends to become neglectful of the other things in her life. Namely, Cooper. And when he asks her to marry him, their relationship begins a downward trajectory, with events that they may never recover from.

There are deep moments and tender ones. There are scenes that will make you sigh, and those that will have you sobbing. Some events will have you raging out loud, and others will cause you frustration. But there is definitely no shortage of emotional feels in this book. And although I believe there was a good story at its heart, I struggled to fully embrace it.

For me, Dylan is an incredibly difficult character to connect to. She often comes across as self-centered, churlish and even unlikable. She has a tendency to blame others for her problems. Cooper is seemingly the easy-going one, but at times he often feels like a fictional persona, until – finally- a flaw is revealed. Cooper’s sister, Meghan, and her husband Stephen, feature prominently in the book, but their backstory is incomplete, and there reconciliation even more so. So , in my opinion, the characters needed some work. My other issue was that there were just so many problems, many unbelievably tragic, throughout this book, that I felt almost all of them weren’t fully realized. It is tough for me to explain without giving away spoilers, but the issues felt inordinate and therefore stunted in their development, as there was little time to completely solve each one before the next erupted.

I thin Raintree shows great promise as a writer, and believe she will do well in the field. She just needs some experience and seasoning.

 

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