Title: Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A stirring debut rife with intoxicating family secrets and dazzling insights into our most basic desires, Perfectly Undone offers an intimate, uncensored exploration of forgiveness and fidelity, in all its forms, as a young doctor struggles with her sister’s death—and the role she played in it—while her own picture-perfect relationship and promising career unravel around her.
Yes is such a little word…
Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for a perfect life, so when her longtime boyfriend, Cooper, gets down on one knee, it should be the most perfect moment of all. Then why does she say no?
For too many years, Dylan’s been living for her sister, who never got the chance to grow up. But her attempt to be the perfect daughter, perfect partner and perfect doctor hasn’t been enough to silence the haunting guilt Dylan feels over her sister’s death—and the role no one knows she played in it.
Now Dylan must face her past if she and Cooper stand a chance at a the courage to define her own happiness before her life becomes perfectly undone?
Set among the breezy days of a sultry Portland summer, Perfectly Undone is a deeply moving novel of family secrets, forgiveness and finding yourself in the most surprising of places.
Sometimes you have to lose your way to find yourself
Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree is an engrossing novel about forgiveness and moving forward.
OB/GYN Dr. Dylan Michels is an initially unlikeable character that is difficult to relate to. She is so defined by her self-perceived role in her sister’s death fifteen years earlier that this one event overshadows everything in her life. Dylan is so busy look back and ahead that she has completely lost sight of what is happening in the present. Despite her nine year relationship with live-in-boyfriend, pediatrician Cooper Caldwell, she is emotionally closed off and unable to tell him about why she is so haunted by her sister’s death. Dylan is so self-involved that instead of being happy about Cooper’s good news that she instead dwells on what this means for her future instead of celebrating his good fortune. Things come to head when Cooper proposes and Dylan’s reaction is not at all what he expects.
Dylan becomes a much more sympathetic character in the wake of a stunning confession from Cooper. With surprising insight from her crush-worthy landscape architect, Reese, Dylan begins taking a long overdue stock of herself, her goals and her past. Relying her beloved father for support, her world is rocked in the aftermath of shocking family revelations. When she no longer feels she can rely on her dad, can Dylan accept her mother’s attempts to fix their long-strained relationship? What impact will all of these events have on her plans for her future? Will all of Dylan’s self-reflection about both recent and long ago events occur too late to mend her tattered relationship with Cooper?
Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree is an emotional journey of healing and self forgiveness. Despite not being a particularly appealing character early in the novel, once Dylan is forced to take a hard look at her choices, she becomes much more relatable and endearing. Cooper is initially a candidate for sainthood for his patience and understanding with Dylan but he eventually proves to be all too human in the aftermath of his ill-received proposal. Reese is an adorable addition to the cast and his unflappable calm and insightful observations easily make him the most likable character in the novel. Dylan’s transformation is sometimes excruciatingly painful to endure, but the growth of her character is a sweet payoff for all of the frustration she causes. A thought-provoking read that fans of the genre will find worth tackling.