Friday, March 20, 2015

To Have and To Hold by Trae Stratton

To Have and To Hold
by Trae Stratton

My rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Trae Stratton
ISBN-13: 9781463783235
Genre: Family Saga | Fiction
Print Length: 584 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


April 23, 1994. The date is set. Colin MacLann is getting married. Growing up in the suburbs of New York City at a time when kids could still be kids and sometimes were for too long, Colin looked like he had it all: he was smart, athletic, had a voice for rock 'n' roll, and lots of luck. There were girlfriends too, five of them: Cindy, Haley, Cara, Monique and Tessa. Each of them burst into his life at different times to inspire him in their own unique way, and more often than not, broke his heart too. Still, fate has chosen one of them to be his soul mate. Will Colin grow up in time to earn a place at the altar beside her? Or must destiny deliver someone else? In To Have and To Hold, Trae Stratton takes the reader on a rare journey. By writing almost exclusively from the point of view of the groom and his family, a simple love story turns into an endearing family saga anchored to Colin's relationships. Through the deft use of flashbacks, the reader grows up with Colin just before the digital age in a time and place when your neighborhood could still be your whole world. As the hour of his wedding draws near, the witty dialogue keeps the plot moving at a crisp pace, while slyly preserving the identity of the bride until the final chapter. Whether you enjoy mysteries, happy endings or both, the MacLann family will work their way into your heart for a long time to come.

To Have and To HoldMy Review
To Have and To Hold by Trae Stratton

Colin MacLann is getting married, today is the day and in just a few hours he will begin to “write” another addition to the “books” of his life’s journey. Reflecting back on the story of his life through his thoughts, we are invited to witness a young boy, his best friends and joy of their youthful imaginations. Always called the Lucky One, Colin was a gifted athlete, a talented singer and seemed to get whatever he wanted, the girls, the attention, that hidden niggling of self-doubt was always there. As his childhood friends grew, their bonds remained strong and lives changed, some for the better, some hit major roadblocks along the way only to hurdle past them in directions they only dreamed about. But these young men are not the only ones reflecting on events of their pasts; his parents have their own secrets,flaws and mistakes hidden deep within.

What of the girls in Colin’s life, how did they impact the man he has become as they walked into and out of his life? His bride awaits him, the one he needed most, and how did she know she was to co-author his next story? Masterful storytelling, riveting and, well, simply breathtaking!

This could have been written about any family, anywhere and that is part of the charm of this tale. Trae Stratton has created a story of introspection, revelations, truths, pain and joy in a way that welcomes his readers into the fold of the MacLann family. They're far from perfect, have overstepped boundaries, have loved and lost, been wounded and have healed, but always they are a family of the heart, mind and soul, a solid unit that often defies explanation.

The undertones are decidedly masculine as the memories and flashbacks are told from a mostly male perspective. An emotional rollercoaster, you will soar with the characters, feel their self-doubt and crash and burn alongside them, but throughout, you will feel hope for the future based on events and actions from the past, and love, a lot of love.

Trae Stratton writes from his heart, it’s in every word on each page as they come to life in your mind’s eye. I suggest keeping tissues nearby, because Mr. Stratton not only gives you a couple of laughs, but he will scrape your heart raw just when you least want it. If that isn't magical storytelling, nothing is.

I received this copy from author Trae Stratton in exchange for my honest review.

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