February 23, 2021
Blurb: Told in alternating timelines, THE THINGS WE LEAVE UNFINISHED examines the risks we take for love, the scars too deep to heal, and the endings we can’t bring ourselves to see coming.
Twenty-eight-year-old Georgia Stanton has to start over after she gave up almost everything in a brutal divorce—the New York house, the friends, and her pride. Now back home at her late great-grandmother’s estate in Colorado, she finds herself face-to-face with Noah Harrison, the bestselling author of a million books where the cover is always people nearly kissing. He’s just as arrogant in person as in interviews, and she’ll be damned if the good-looking writer of love stories thinks he’s the one to finish her grandmother’s final novel…even if the publisher swears he’s the perfect fit.
Noah is at the pinnacle of his career. With book and movie deals galore, there isn’t much the “golden boy” of modern fiction hasn’t accomplished. But he can’t walk away from what might be the best book of the century—the one his idol, Scarlett Stanton, left unfinished. Coming up with a fitting ending for the legendary author is one thing, but dealing with her beautiful, stubborn, cynical great-granddaughter, Georgia, is quite another.
But as they read Scarlett’s words in both the manuscript and her box of letters, they start to realize why Scarlett never finished the book—it’s based on her real-life romance with a World War II pilot, and the ending isn’t a happy one. Georgia knows all too well that love never works out, and while the chemistry and connection between her and Noah is undeniable, she’s as determined as ever to learn from her great-grandmother’s mistakes—even if it means destroying Noah’s career.
In a classic meet-cute, Georgia Stanton, the great-granddaughter of the late bestselling romance author, Scarlett Stanton, tells a very attractive man in a bookshop that Noah Harrison’s books are the products of a romance wannabe while Scarlett was the real deal. Of course, you might guess who is the man is. And, thus begins The Things We Leave Unfinished by Rebecca Yarros, a novel of two romances 80 years apart.
With alternating timelines and character POVs, Yarros tells the story of Scarlett, an upper crust British woman who, along with her sister Constance has joined the WAAF during WWII and falls in love with American flier Jameson Stanton from Colorado as well as Scarlett’s great-granddaughter Georgia who is coming out of a wreck of a marriage but finds herself nevertheless attracted to the initially arrogant Noah.
A fun observation for me was that Noah's romance writing seems quite similar to what author Nicholas Sparks would write and, of course, Noah is the name of one of his most famous characters (The Notebook). Coincidence?
The characters are layered and very believable. The plot is well-developed, weaving in surprises, and well-paced. The writing excellent throughout.
The Things We Leave Unfinished is emotionally satisfying and emotionally wow-ing. A single scene raised fear, relief, and then sorrow, skillfully.
The Things We Leave Unfinished goes beyond being a romance novel to something much more. While there is the satisfaction of romantic love, there is also familial love and the response to the lack of familial love. How we always hold out hope for the ones we love even when they continue to let us down. How people can be molded by their circumstances and become different than who they would have been if circumstances had been different. There is the awareness of the freedoms that women have surrendered in order to marry, especially 80 years ago and yet still.
As we baseball fans like to say, Rebecca Yarros has hit this one out of the park. If you love mature, well-told romances/historical romances, you cannot pass this one by.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies