Kaitlyn Harper married at only 18, but when her husbands' botched suicide attempt resulted in brain damage that made him child-like, she was forced to change their lives to care for him and their son. Kaitlin and Tom Harper married against the wishes of her family when she was just 18 years old. At first they were blissfully happy, until Tom's days as a professional football player begin to end. At that time, he fell into a deep depression and tried to commit suicide. He survived, but with a significant amount of brain damage and would forever be a child trapped in a man's body.
The premise of the novel revolves primarily around the love Kaitlin still feels for Tom and her need for a normal life. When you have said "It's until death do you part", and "In sickness and in health", are there out-clauses when the person you're married to is no longer an adult in any way, except physically?
At the same time, Kaitlin was pregnant with their first and only child, a boy. Desperate to care for both the husband she loved and the son she would soon give birth to, she was forced to make some difficult choices. In order for Tom to get the care and privacy he needed, and that he would need for the rest of his life, she found a facility where he could live out his days.
She devoted herself to raising their son, Tygue, and allowed the world to believe that Tom had passed away. By doing so, he would not be mobbed by reporters and it was her hope that he would be able to enjoy the best quality of life he could. She found a home nearby in the country and visited him regularly.
Desperate for some sort of emotional release, Kaitlin began to write. Although her first one was not successful, her second became virtually an overnight sensation. Unfortunately, the success of her new required some new adjustments to their routine, including travel. While traveling, and without looking for romance, she meets the intriguing producer Nick Waterman.
Kate has secrets she won't tell him, such as her marriage to Tom and his need for long-term care, and there are topics she prefers not to discuss, such as her son. In addition, she comes from a very well-off family, although they have been estranged since before she married Tom.
Nick knows she has secrets, but they seem to just draw him to her. Her son, who is used to having a stay-at-home mom who focuses on him the majority of the time, acts out of because of the changes that have occurred in their lives. It worsens when Tygue finds out that his father is physically fine and he repeatedly attempts to run away to see him. She decides he is old enough to meet his father, so she and Nick take him there for a visit. The scene is sweet and yet sad, because they are a father and son who have never met, who are remarkably similar and function on about the same mental level.
Finally, they decide that until Tom passes away, whenever that might be, she and Nick will not marry and she will continue to visit Nick regularly at the facility. Under the circumstances, she would not feel right about divorcing Tom, but she and Nick will be together as a couple. As the novel ends, Kaitlin (also known as Kate) discovers she is pregnant, but there are no plans to change their marital status.
Best part of story, including ending:
It was romance, but not typical romance and it did an excellent job of showing the different types of love. She was passionately and romantically in love with Tom and still loved him, almost in a maternal way, after his brain damage. She maintained that familial or maternal love even as she fell in love with Nick and maintained her visits with Tom.
Best scene in story:
There is a scene where Kate is visiting Tom and he is moody. She compares him in her head to their son, and realizes they were very similar. Even his board games, that he loved, were typically hand-me-downs from Tygue, when he outgrew them. It was just a very touching scene that did an excellent job at showing how severe the brain damage was, but also showed that Tom had a good quality of life.
Opinion about the main character:
I loved Kate Harper. She was strong and independent, even though she was so young to be making the decisions that she needed to make. Tom was 10 years older than she was and I was just in awe of the decisions that she made throughout the novel.