Sahara Lee has spent the last ten years living with the guilt of a tragic accident and its aftermath. That night irrevocably changed the outgoing, fun-loving college freshman into an introverted, workaholic with no social life. Sahara isolates herself from everyone and everything that reminds her of home in an effort to forget what happened. Using art as a substitute for love, Sahara throws herself into music and art as a way to feel something other than the guilt that haunts her. She accepts her lonely existence as penance for the role she played in the accident. That is, until she meets Tyree Barker, the good looking entrepreneur with baggage of his own.
Blindsided by a legal loophole, Sahara is suddenly forced to confront the past she’s been running from. Juggling the guilty feelings of her past and the unexpected feelings of her present, Sahara’s future becomes complicated as she heads down a path of forgiveness, love, and heartbreak…and not in that particular order.
Back to Life reminds you that living and existing are two completely different ways to go through life. Grief will break you but guilt, guilt will destroy you. And once that happens, what can bring you back to life?
CLG Review of Back to Life
A Nicely Done Coming-of-Life Story
After reading the book description of Danielle Allen’s BACK TO LIFE, particularly the last three sentences, I was moved to read this book: “Back to Life reminds you that living and existing are two completely different ways to go through life. Grief will break you but guilt, guilt will destroy you. And once that happens, what can bring you back to life?” This alone made the story sound real to me, so I jumped in, hoping the book was as good as its hook.
Allen presents us with Sahara Lee, a character that is real, that is flawed, that is hurting and searching. I connected with her quickly. And I think other readers will, too, and because of that, they will follow her through her journey of dealing with and recovering from a past tragic accident and its effects so that she can have a future worth walking toward. In a lot of ways, BACK TO LIFE feels like a coming-of-life story about Sahara, but it’s also a story about love of self and of others: finding it, accepting it, and embracing it. Allen does a good job with layering conflict in Sahara’s story, and while reading it, though you’ll think you know where the story is going, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the twists Allen plants. My only quibble is the abundance of description in the book. I like just enough description to paint a character and atmosphere and let me interact with it all while reading. Too much, and I tend to gloss over or skim to get back to the meat of the story. Despite that, this is a book I would recommend.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.