Many thanks to Christine Brae, Vesuvian Books, and Netgalley for the chance to read and review Eight Goodbyes.
After discovering Christine Brae’s writing in 2016, I have been a huge fan of her work, blog posts, and simply her as a person. I’ve eagerly been awaiting the release of Eight Goodbyes for more than two years and I’m positively pleased to say it was well worth every moment of waiting. Christine’s writing continues to get better with each release, making me always eager to see what she’ll come up with next.
“One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas. And I had the privilege of meeting you.” – Unknown
When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.
Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.
Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.
To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.
I wish I could bottle up the feelings this novel gave me to revisit constantly. Though this is a seemingly simple story about two lovers making their own rules for their relationship, it dives even further by conveying important messages about life and love. Simply, we must make the most of our lives and there is no time to waste on pride, selfishness, or anything besides loving those who are closest to us. As usual, Christine’s writing cuts right to the core, making me feel every word and evaluate my own life. I questioned whether I was living each moment as if it were precious and whether I was actively loving those dear to me in the way they deserved to be.
I have to give major kudos regarding many aspects of this novel, the main one being the characters. I simply cannot choose a favorite! Initially, I loved Simon and couldn’t wait for a bit of cheer to find its way to his life. He was deep, brooding, and intellectual, while carrying a sadness I was eager to understand. There are many layers to his character that take time to unearth, making him endlessly interesting. Obviously, as a huge Anglophile, I adored that he was a Brit. At times he emulated the witty and sarcastic humor of the English I have grown to love.
Tessa reminded me of myself more than almost any character I have ever read before, personality-wise. Her life has been trying, she’s lost people close to her and feels reluctant to be vulnerable again. Her inability to voice her feelings to those she cares about was like looking in a mirror. As a romance novelist, it’s easy to put the words on paper to create stories people can’t help but grasp ahold of with their hearts, but verbalizing love feels like visiting another planet. Instead, she builds walls around her heart and chases the world’s beauty to every corner of the Earth, never settling down.
Not only were the main characters of this novel outstanding and relatable, the secondary characters felt like real-life friends or family. I formed an attachment to each one for different reasons and enjoyed reading about their interactions and lives as much as those of Tessa and Simon. One chance encounter between Tessa and a woman named Millie was one of my favorite moments of the entire book!
Christine’s writing never fails to disappoint in being descriptive and making me feel as if I am traveling the world with her characters. Many authors can’t walk the fine line of showing their readers what they want them to see, without mundanely describing every detail in a flat and boring manner
Along with detailed descriptions, I appreciated how incredibly unpredictable the story was, something that is not easily achieved in the romance novels of today. As an avid reader, it oftentimes seems as if every romantic story has been written already. I couldn’t be more relieved to have been proven wrong this time! There was never a moment in the story where I could have properly guessed what events might happen next, despite the title hinting at the possibility. It seems unlikely the characters could say eight goodbyes during their love with the story remaining exciting, but again, Christine was able to manage it effortlessly. At one point there was a twist that made me go back and read three times to make certain I was truly understanding what was happening. I had to set my Kindle down and contemplate the extent of the moment!
Eight Goodbyes is not only a heartwrenching story of two people navigating the globe, their love, and their personal lives, it’s unputdownable, exciting, and unpredictable to the very last page. I hope everyone will pick this beautiful story today. If you’ve yet to read a book by Christine Brae, you are sorely missing out.
Eight Goodbyes is available now!
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