Review: What's Left of Me, by Kristen Granata
Updated: Nov 14, 2020
‘What's Left of Me is like a reading cuddle: it's enjoyable, well-written and it makes you want to curl up in a chair and keep reading straight on to the very last page.’
*Trigger warnings for this book: abuse, depression, loss*
What's Left of Me is like a reading cuddle: it's enjoyable, well-written and it makes you want to curl up in a chair and keep reading straight on to the very last page.
In California's Orange County, Callie lives the seemingly perfect life, with the perfect house and the perfect marriage. Cole, recently moved from New York to live with his sister across the street from Callie's house, is a rude and angry man, determined to hate the world and everyone in it. Or so it all seems at first glance. What's Left of Me is the story of what goes on behind closed doors, and the ugly painful truth that can hide beyond appearances.
The plot line is deliciously predictable at times, and there is a lot of pleasure and comfort in following the path you know Callie and Cole are bound to take, and to watch them evolve along the way. The strength go the book, in my view, is Kristen Granata's careful handling of several delicate topics through Callie and Cole's pain, loss and grief.
The book is an ode to the hardships of finding your way when you've lost yourself so completely you can't see any glimmer of hope. It talks of rebuilding yourself after facing the worst. As a woman for whom motherhood wasn't in the cards, for instance, I found Granata's approach to the topic vividly accurate and incredibly gentle.
I found What's Left of Me to be a truly enjoyable read, and the truth is, I just couldn't put this down. I whizzed through it in just under three days. Leaving aside the simplicity of the story, it's beautifully written, witty, with some seriously saucy passages, and it deals with many difficult topics with expert care. A lovely book cuddle for anyone looking for a few pleasurable reading days!