Aug 25, 2013

Life Over Love

 Brianna Garcia is a young mother whose spirit and fiery temper were so beaten down, she was barely recognizable to her own self. Beaten both by the words and the fists of her first love. The father of her children. She was at her lowest, lost, and ashamed by what she had become. Brianna felt so full of self-loathing that she constantly entertained thoughts of suicide. She devised a plan to take her children and leave her abusive husband on his birthday, as a gift to herself making it a special day neither will soon forget…

I received a copy of this story for an honest review.

Mike and Brianna Garcia appear to be a perfect couple with everything going for them. Teenage sweethearts, the two married young, had two adorable kids, and made a home. But appearances are deceiving. The sunglasses Brianna sports cover her black eyes and the long sleeves hide a multitude of bruises. “Life over Love” is Brianna’s story. It’s a story of strength, courage, and love. I really enjoyed this read and think you will too.

“Life over Love” is a quick but important story. It in turns made me tear up and smile. Brianna is one of those rare characters where I felt like I could know her and be friends with her in real life. To me that’s a pretty special feeling that I only occasionally get from characters. That feeling made me cheer for each of her accomplishments, particularly her blossoming relationship with Officer Ryker Danner (aka Officer Sexy Pants - Brianna’s words not mine).

This story touched me deeply because it hit very close to home. My mother and father got together in their teens and after my father got back from Vietnam the two got married. What followed in the marriage were two kids, my father’s raging alcohol dependency and years of physical and emotional abuse for my mother. As I’ve gotten older I’ve pieced together stories from family, friends, and even my parents about the abuse. It’s not my story to fully tell but I’ll say it wasn’t a pretty picture.  One morning in 1981 my mom had enough. When my dad left for work she grabbed my sister and me and she left for good. Sometimes when she and I have talked about it she’ll laugh about the fact that she didn’t even take time to grab her purse. She knew that was her time to leave so she just grabbed us two kids, and with the clothes on our backs the three of us booked it.

Scars from domestic abuse fade but never completely disappear. I think Seagraves did a beautiful job capturing that in “Life over Love.” It has been almost three decades since my mom left my dad and she’s been married to my step-father for over 25 years. To this day mom will leave a store or a restaurant if someone is raising their voice at another person and she noticeably flinches when a door slams. In “Life over Love” Brianna creates a new life for herself and her children but she’s not magically fixed. Her new love is important but doesn’t wash her past away. Brianna embraces her fresh opportunities but accepts that the insecurities she carries from the years of abuse will be part of her as well. That’s realistic, and it means a lot for the author to portray it that way.

Please show Seagraves some support and pick up a copy of “Life over Love.” Share it with your friends, with the women in your life; you never know who it may help or touch.

Happy reading.

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