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Book Review: The Things We Leave Unfinished

by | May 14, 2023 | Book Reviews, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Historical Fiction

Rating: 4/5 stars
Age Rating: 18+
Spice Level: 2/3 chili pepper rating (The Things We Leave Unfinished mild spice level was granted based on 1-2 scenes, as this was slow burn.)

When I first picked up The Things We Leave Unfinished, I didn’t know what to expect. As a fan of historical fiction, the blend of past and present captured in a love story piqued my curiosity. Plus, the cover whispered promises of a beautiful and profound story. I had also caught wind of quite the buzz around this book online, which only added to my anticipation.

As I delved into the narrative, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. The dance between the timelines, the depth of the characters, and the intertwining stories of love and resilience – all these elements combined to create an engaging read that was hard to put down. But believe me when I say the real magic of this book unfolded towards the end.

The richness of emotions, unexpected turns, and the thought-provoking moments this novel served up – all culminated in a truly unique reading experience. It was more than just a good read; it offered a thoughtful exploration of love, resilience, and the excitement of things left unfinished. So, let’s delve into this intriguing journey together.

Tropes in this Book

  • Sworn off love
  • Enemies to lovers
  • Small town
  • Slow burn

Synopsis of The Things We Leave Unfinished

The Things We Leave Unfinished is a dual timeline novel that explores the intertwining stories of love, heartbreak, resilience, and the courage to start anew.

In the present day, we meet 28 year old Georgia Stanton, a woman picking up the pieces of her life after a devastating divorce. She returns to her childhood home in Colorado, the estate of her late great-grandmother, Scarlett Stanton, a famous romance author. Here, she crosses paths with Noah Harrison, the author known for his bestselling love stories. Georgia finds herself in a battle of wills with Noah, who has been chosen to complete the final novel that Scarlett Stanton left unfinished.

Simultaneously, we are transported back to the era of World War II as Georgia and Noah explore Scarlett’s unfinished manuscript, which is based on her real-life romance with World War II pilot Jameson Stanton. As they delve into Scarlett’s words and letters, they uncover the tragic love story that Scarlett left behind.

Through Scarlett’s story, Georgia grapples with her cynicism toward love. Meanwhile, Noah struggles to balance his career ambitions with his growing feelings for Georgia and his respect for Scarlett’s life story. As they learn more about Scarlett and Jameson’s tragic romance, they find their relationship evolving, fraught with tension, longing, and undeniable chemistry.

My Review

The Things We Leave Unfinished is a complex and emotional journey through the past and the present. It is a story that explores the sacrifices made for love, the scars left behind, and the courage it takes to face the inevitable endings and embrace new beginnings. The narrative highlights the risks we take for love, the deep wounds that are difficult to heal, and the conclusions we struggle to accept. It’s a tale of past mistakes, learned lessons, and the hope for a better future. It’s about how the things we leave unfinished shape us, and how we choose to complete them defines our legacy.

First and foremost, the dual timelines in this book are very engaging. Weaving between the present day and the era of World War II, the story keeps you hooked from beginning to end. It’s truly impressive how the author makes both timelines equally compelling. I was torn between wanting to stay in one timeline and being eager to return to the other.

Now, let’s talk about our characters. They are well-constructed, with plenty of depth to their personalities. Their experiences are portrayed in such a way that it feels as if they’re right there with you. Their romances have a certain quality to them that can make your heart flutter and fill you with anticipation, the kind that leaves a lasting impression.

The historical love story between Scarlett Wright and Jameson Stanton during WWII is not just a beautiful and poignant tale of bravery, sacrifice, and all-consuming passion, but also a gripping narrative steeped in danger and uncertainty. As a World War II pilot, Jameson’s life is constantly at risk, casting a shadow of dread over their intense love story. Scarlett, fiercely independent, must grapple with the terrifying reality of loving someone in such perilous circumstances.

In the present day, we meet Georgia Stanton and Noah Morelli, whose dynamic is electrifying from the get-go. Their love story, though unique in its own way, is just as captivating. It’s a slow-burn romance that keeps you on the edge of your seat, filled with witty banter, simmering tension, and a profound respect for Georgia’s family legacy. Noah, as he’s tasked with completing Georgia’s grandmother’s unfinished book, faces the challenge of winning over the guarded Georgia without overstepping his boundaries. His patient pursuit becomes not only a heartfelt journey of trust and healing, but also a delicate dance of balancing his professional duty and his growing personal affection for Georgia.

The writing in this book is evocative, lyrical, and effortlessly transports you into the world of the characters. I enjoyed the book as I read it, but that was amplified tenfold by the end. I did not expect the ending, and it left me stunned and hooked through the final pages.

If you found this review helpful, you can check out the book at Bookshop.org here and support local bookstores along the way!