My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/shaken-by-dee-tenorio
Cardiothoracic surgeon Grant Sullivan felt like his heart was ripped out of his chest when a car accident took the life of his daughter. The only thing that kept him going was his wife, Julia. Now Julia wants a divorce, claiming that she cannot live with a man who isn’t mourning the loss of his child. Grant can’t let Julia go, but neither can he unleash on Julia the tidal wave of grief and guilt he keeps locked inside. When Julia flees the room during a discussion on the terms of their divorce, Grant follows her and Mother Nature takes pity on the man; an earthquake strikes, trapping Grant and Julia in an elevator. Grant hopes to use the time to put every sensual talent he possesses into keeping Julia with him. But with nowhere to run, Julia’s going to turn the tables on him as well and the thing that saves their marriage might also be the very thing that could destroy Grant as well.
What happens to a marriage in the face of the most devastating loss two parents must cope with? Dee Tenorio tackles this heartbreaking topic in Shaken. Ms. Tenorio wove both sensuality and heart-wrenching pain together to deliver an incredibly powerful story.
Julia and Grant are both average people, something that lends them an immediate connectability. They also handle their grief in very commonplace ways. What I admired about Shaken is that its protagonists react to a horrible loss in ways that felt realistic. Added to that realism was Julia taking Grant’s stoic behavior and focus on their sexual connection as a sign that he didn’t mourn the loss of their child. She isn’t right, of course, but her misconception is one I could understand, just as I understood Grant’s method of coping with their loss. The two of them are clearly meant to be together, but it’s an emotional wringer to get there. I admit, it was a bit of one for me as well, and I have no problem saying that when Grant reached his breaking point, I cried.
I loved Shaken, pure and simple. It’s not a “happy” book, but though it had its tear-jerker moments, it wasn’t a “downer” either. Love, hope, and life after loss bring shine to Shaken. Every book I read of Ms. Tenorio’s keeps me coming back for more and Shaken is no exception.