Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.
When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.
Blake’s heart beats for Livia’s, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right?
In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.
"Love never fails."
My heart, you guys. Poughkeepsie made my heart ache in the way very few books ever have. I don't think, no matter how hard I work to properly explain my feelings, that I will come remotely close to explaining how much I loved Poughkeepsie. Here's my attempt...
A young man with no home and a broken soul sits and waits. He believes that he is a monster. And he waits. He waits for the girl who shares a simple smile with him every day as she leaves and returns to the train station. To Livia, it is a simple gesture, an act of kindness. But to Blake, it means everything.
Livia sees more than a homeless man sitting on a platform. She sees a beautiful soul. A kind soul."Me. She sees me."
And she doesn't hesitate to come to Blake's defense when he needs it. And so begins Blake and Livia's journey. A journey of friendship, a bonding of souls, a test of courage and an act of faith. Blake and Livia must stand together against outside forces that will force them apart, those who don't or won't understand, and the torment that resides in Blake's mind."I feel like I've always loved him, and now I just got lucky enough to find him."
I feel as if I should defend or explain how it comes to be that Livia falls in love with Blake. My only answer to that is "read the book". One chapter, one paragraph will convince you. Poughkeepsie is not a typical love story, in many ways. There are no happy little mistakes, or misunderstandings that test their love. The forces that work against Blake and Livia are dark, deep, and traumatic. But Blake is worth it the trials. Livia is worth the trials. They are a pair that continually defy all that's against them, finding a way to heal and be healed. Love and to receive love. See and be seen.
The secondary characters in Poughkeepsie are simply unparalleled, and could each easily have their own story. Livia's sister Kyle is without a doubt one of the most ridiculously fantastic characters I've had the pleasure of reading. Her talent for crude one-liners is one of the many reasons I loved her. I would find myself busting out laughing, mid-sob, at the jaw-dropping bombs that flew out of her mouth. Most of them are not "review-friendly" but here's one that is (kind of):
You see?! My heart may not have survived without Kyle."Holy f^*king dogs! You scared the uterus out of me."
Blake has two brothers, Cole and Beckett. Cole is quiet and haunted. He has worked to build a life that will absolve him of the guilt that plagues him. Cole's devotion to his brothers, and his unwavering, soothing love for the woman who captures his heart made me love him so. And Beckett. Talk about an enigma. On paper, Beckett seems like a man unworthy of love. He's a thug, a hardened criminal who deserves every bad thing headed his way. But in actuality, though Beckett is all of those things, he is more. His love for Cole and Blake is staggering. The lengths he has gone to to protect his brothers will win you over. And as funny as Kyle is, Beckett can stand toe-to-toe with and possibly beat her in a swear battle. To find someone so funny and so proficient in the art of swearing? Be still my heart.
Author Debra Anastasia's tremendous capacity to hold me with her words astounds me. Each sentence, each scene she paints with her words, was a gift. I found myself re-reading lines, trying to wrap my brain around the simple beauty she created. I am at the same time jealous and thankful for authors like Anastasia. but most of all I am grateful.
Poughkeepsie is possibly the most beautiful story I've had the fortune of reading. I simply could not put it down. By the end, I was hiding from my husband, reading with a towel over my mouth so he couldn't hear my sobs. Poughkeepsie is dark and sad at times. It is also full of light and beauty. Poughkeepsie is a story of love in it's simplest, yet bravest form. I am so lucky to have read it.
I probably highlighted a hundred quotes in Poughkeepsie. So, needless to say, it was hard to narrow it down to two. I hope you enjoy them.
"Livia struggled to keep her tears to herself. She'd never witnessed such stunning bravery. She could only imagine the full nature of the walls, fears, and pain he climbed over to get to her.
She wanted to run and meet him in the middle, but she couldn't. He needed to come to her. I will stay put. I will not cry. Come to me. Come to me." (ebook, 42%)
"After a moment Blake looked around his sunny meadow. A breeze stirred the trees high up, and they released a shower of fall colors. In the silence of the day, the leaves hitting the ground sounded like applause. Quiet applause for a quiet victory." (ebook, 43%)
Published November 21, 2011 by Omnific Publishing
Read a sample of Poughkeepsie
Watch the amazing trailer.
You can purchase Poughkeepsie at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Debra Anastasia is busy, just like every other mom. There's dinner, the dogs, the kids, and their homework. The laundry pile turns into a big, heaping monster. When the clothes finally make it into the washer, it gets unbalanced and puts on an elaborate show before it cuts out. This crazy job that never ends is her first love and her crowning achievement. Her writing started a decent handful of years ago when along with the dogs, cat, kids, and husband, the voices of characters started whispering stories in Debra's ear. Insomnia was the gateway for the plots that wouldn't give up, wouldn't let go. In the shower, a twist would take hold and--dripping and frenzied--she'd find somewhere, anywhere to write it down. Debra grew up in New York and got a bachelor's degree in political science at SUNY New Paltz. At the start of her marriage, she moved to southern Maryland with her husband. She still doesn't trust crabs and all their legs, though everyone else in her family thinks they're delicious. Her favorite hobbies include knitting, painting furniture and wall murals, and slapping clowns. Earlier this year Omnific Publishing published her debut novel, Crushed Seraphim, and she's currently pounding out the sequel to angel Emma's adventures. You can visit her website at www.DebraAnastasia.com and find her on twitter @Debra_Anastasia. (taken from GoodReads)
I am giving one lucky, lucky person an ebook of Poughkeepsie. And because she is so awesome, author Debra Anastasia has added some fantastic swag to the giveaway! The swag includes:
-a Poughkeepsie charm bracelet
-Poughkeepsie temporary tattoos (same design that's on the cover)
-signed Poughkeepsie train schedule
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.