Hey all, it’s Alexa! So, I found this one at my library, a beautiful cover on the new books shelf, read the description, and thought the foster care elements might help me with my own book. They did, somewhat, but they also gave me much more than that.
Flora and her brother, Julian, don’t believe they were born. They’ve lived in so many foster homes, they can’t remember where they came from. And even now that they’ve been adopted, Flora struggles to believe in forever. So along with their new mother, Flora and Julian begin a journey to go back and discover their past—for only then can they really begin to build their future.
Because of the search for Flora and Julian’s past, Forever or a Long, Long Time is more structured than most contemporaries, but it still has this lovely, real-life lilt that kept me guessing about how the story would turn out. I especially loved the episodic feel of the last half: each of the old homes presented joys and/or setbacks, but each was a revelation, a step on the road returning to their past in the present, so they could piece together the puzzle of their future. And when it finished, it just felt so… complete, so whole, so… perfect. It was soft, and hard, and real, and gorgeous, and I am so very glad that I got to read it.
Plot: 5 stars out of 5.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
These kids. Just these kids. I so adore each of them and I am so proud of how the whole family grows throughout the book. Julian and Flora’s loyalty to each other is absolutely incredible (there’s a series of scenes in the middle that took my breath away), but at the same time, they make so much progress towards the rest of their family throughout the book. Even so, it’s not like everything’s fixed when you hit the end; it’s like everything’s life and it will be erratic and hard and up and down and better and worse and then better again, but now they’ve recognized that, they’ve accepted that, and they’ll keep taking strides to make life more up than down, more better than worse, and get better and grow as they go along.
And they’ll do it together.
Basically me after finishing
Characters: 5 stars out of 5.
The writing captured Flora beautifully: even when she struggled to speak, her inner world was so active, portraying a vivid picture of her outer world and how she viewed it from the inside. There was something so honest and lyrical about her voice, and it made me feel like I was right there, in that moment with her, experiencing what she experienced and empathizing with whatever she felt.
Writing Style/Setting: 5 stars out of 5.
And so, we come in at a solid 5 stars out of 5. This book is so amazing. It’s the sort of story that, for a little bit after you read it, everything feels right with the world. There are still problems—big ones—but we’ve learned that, together, they can be both faced and fixed. If you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can find it here for $9.38.
So have you ever fallen head over heels for a book you read for research? What was it and how did it influence you? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!