It Ends With Us, by Colleen Hoover

This novel grabs you and sweeps you into a story  of love, lust and betrayal. At turns comic and tragic, It Ends With Us explores abuse from those who are supposed to protect and love us and those we fall in love with.

It Ends With Us

Lily Bloom is fresh out of college when she meets a young doctor who is just finishing his residency. And even though there is an immediate attraction, they both go their own ways. He’s not interested in a serious relationship, ever,  he insists and she’s busy starting her own business.

Eventually Ryle and Lily meet again, both having never forgotten each other. They fall in madly love and marry.

But a young man from Lily’s youth, her first love, enters the picture. Atlas was a homeless high school student. Lily helped him survive while at the same time doing her best to prevent her father from being abusive to her mother. Lily’s father had been abusive to her mother for years. Atlas was her best friend and she leaned on him to help get her through the heartache of watching the continued abuse of her mother.

Years later, Lily and Atlas reconnect as friends and nothing more, as they both have a profound and deep respect for the other.

 Lily is in love with her husband, she trusts him and respects him. The first time he strikes her, it’s deemed a mistake, he didn’t mean to and he’s sorry. He loves her and does everything he can to make up for his actions. At first, Lily blames herself, just as her mother did.  But is she strong enough to stop it? Or will she endure it, making excuses, just as her mother did. When Ryle sees Lily and Atlas innocently talking it sets into motion a series of events that will shatter their marriage.

Domestic abuse is insidious, the abuser often excuses his actions by shifting the blame to his wife, or girlfriend. This enthralling novel explores how the abuser and his victim unwittingly conspire though co-dependency, and how the abuse can dangerously escalate.

I highly recommend this exceptionally well written novel. I  couldn’t put it down.