Review of The One To Hold Your Hand by Erica Lee
My second novel by Erica Lee is a wonderful story about friendship, family, love, illness, loss and so much more. It is an entertaining, beautiful, joyful, sometimes sad, and painful journey of two women who met when they were seven years old.
Reese and Bette have been friends since childhood, best friends even, “being the one to hold your hand” is what they promised each other, forever and ever, no matter what. But it’s far more than friendship, it’s love, but they have to fight a few battles before they find a HEA. Reese has a twin sister, Rachel, who plays the most important and tragic supporting role. She is diagnosed with cancer when she is only seven years old. An absolutely devastating diagnosis for any family. The little girls certainly didn’t fully understand what was happening. But far too quickly, they had to learn what it meant. When Bette, like a ray of sunshine after a storm, brings light back into Reese’s life with the cheerful manner of a seven-year-old, it was almost like a gift from heaven. And a friendship for life begins.
I really liked how the story is set up and we get to follow Bette, Reese, and Rachel over twenty years. It’s an emotional roller coaster and the twins, in particular, go through more difficult times than some adults do in their entire lives. I liked Reese and Bette as adults, but they stole my heart as little girls. The evolution of their relationship from friendship to love is wonderfully told and the intimate scenes are emotional and soulful. But the road to the happy ending is a constant up and down and time and time again life throws them curveballs. But although cancer is a big theme in this story, above all, it’s a book about friendship, cohesion, and love, no matter what. The romance is beautifully told and we virtually grow up with them and experience with them how the feelings for each other change from friendship to love.
The secondary characters are very well developed and involved and are also very important to the story. Rachel in particular impressed me with her always positive attitude, despite the unfairness of life and her big fighter’s heart.
Some of you already know that my sister-in-law and my best friend have both battled breast cancer, fortunately with a happy outcome, and so this story got very close to me and stirred me up. More than once, I cried along with Reese and Rachel. Through these experiences I could understand Reese’s reactions very well, I too often felt absolutely useless and helpless. I’m not a twin myself, but we all know that they have a closer and usually stronger and special bond than other siblings, so I can only guess how much it hurt her to see her sister suffer so much.
An emotional and but also an enjoyable slow-burn young adult love story, beautifully written by Erica Lee.
My rating 4.5 stars