This is a very gut-wrenching raw story of Emma and Adam. They met in Iraq, Adam in the military and Emma as a civilian working in the US embassy. Their romance is captivating and we are given glimpses into their first couple memories – sweet, intimate and full of happiness.
When Adam finishes his deployment, he asks Emma to join him in Colorado. She’s now a married woman living in the States but she’s restless – she’s still not a local (she’s British), she hasn’t had any luck in finding a job and her closest friend is still in Iraq.
Then Adam tells her. He’s being redeployed back to Iraq. He’s going back and she’s staying here.
She thought knowing what he was going to, would make things easier, but it’s so much harder.
The story consists of three parts: pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment, with flashbacks of their blossoming romance and other Iraqi memories that hold a powerful place in Emma’s heart.
Told completely through Emma’s eyes, this is a moving account of the effect war has on both military and civilians. Whilst I’ve read in the past of the mental challenges that military staff feel on their return home, I hadn’t appreciated the effects felt by those helping in Iraq in a civilian aspect – yes they still hear the noises and have to deal with the loss, but they also make memories full of laughter, friendship and achievements. It’s no wonder that they leave with a sense of regret, which of course, clashes with the feelings felt by many.
Right from the very first page, Hart’s writing allows Emma to come alive. It throws you in at the deep end with such raw and personal emotions, igniting a connection instantly between the reader and the main character.
Hart has vividly portrayed the rollercoaster ride that relationships go through, and sadly Emma and Adam’s is full of ups and downs.
The story feels so brutally real, it takes your breath away. I was utterly immersed in Hart’s powerful writing, which is so incredibly moving and with an end that packs so many emotions into the final pages.
Pieces of Me is published by Legend Press and is out now in eBook and paperback versions.
*I won a free copy of this book in a Twitter conversation and chose to review it here on my blog*
Until next time, Chloé x