Phew! So in the past two weeks I have not been able to write any reviews, first because I was very involved in running other people’s projects and businesses so here I am back to my routine.
So today I shall be reviewing the book titled ‘forever my girl’ written by Heidi Mclaughlin published by Bandit Publishing.
The book is the first in the Beaumont series, apparently it talks about the happenings in Beaumont, a small town in Texas of the United States.
It is completely fiction however there is a sweet side to it, the story has been adapted into a movie even though I can not exactly say I prefer the book to the movie. I would have loved to jump at the support books campaign and probably say, ‘oh the book is better’ but no, I preferred the movie.
I also watched the film first before I saw that it was based on a book and I was desperate to find the book, I eventually purchased it and read it. I can say this, each story, when I say each story; I mean the book as an entity of its own and the movie as its own institution have their peculiar beauty. I can’t also say they are the same story, but the movie is definitely based on the same idea in the book.
Rubbing my palms together in anticipation, let’s get down to business!
The book like I said is titled forever my girl. It is written in the first person, two people’s point of view. So basically two people are telling a story, these two people also serve as the omniscient eye in a way. There is no such use of ‘I hear him say’ I think that is kind of old school way. In this narration technique you may forget that someone is telling the story because you are also seeing the events as they unfold in your mind eye.
I also noticed the use of a lot of flashbacks. Once you see the italics you know you are about to be taken into the mind of the speaker.
It tells the story of two young lovers, Liam and Josie, who fell in love while they were both in high school until their first semester in college when he suddenly dropped out and went to Los Angeles to become a musician, leaving aside school, football and his friends including her. After ten years he returned to Beaumont because his best friend Mason Powell had just been killed by an eighteen-wheeler leaving behind his wife Katelyn, who was also his friend and their twin daughters, Peyton and Elle.
Liam who had changed his name from Liam Westbury to Liam Page came back to Beaumont for the burial, not with hope that she would have forgiven him for walking away from her but at least with the hope that she would see that he didn’t deserve her and must have moved on.
Josie on the other hand was in mourning, Mason her friend had just died and as the town’s flourist she was filling the orders for his burial. While Mason had been alive, he had been ordering flowers every Monday for Katelyn, now she was ordering for his burial.
While preparing for the burial Liam returns and visits old places, trying as much as possible to be inconspicuous but fate happens as it always does and he meets his son and immediately knows the boy is his. He rushes to Josie’s store to confront her ad from there things just go tupsy turvy, they both realise their old love is not gone yet and old flames gets rekindled.
He insists on being a part of the boy’s life and this is an issue for Nick Ashford, who was also a classmate back in high school and who had always had an eye for Josie and was now dating her and planning their marriage.
The relationship between Josie and Nick hit the rock so fast that one would begin to wonder if she loved him at all and they had been dating for six years. As most love stories go, Nick leaves because he suspected that she had been intimate with Liam when she went to LA for a convention almost at the same time Liam returned for a while.
Of a truth, she and Liam almost did but they stopped themselves and she returned to Beaumont and started making changes to her store, changes that included opening an area for music, almost as if she was making preparation for Liam to be back and sing at her store, further cementing Nick’s suspicion. Liam also bought a house in Beaumont so that his son could have a place to stay when they were spending time together. We also find out that the son, Noah does not really like football but was only playing because Nick wanted him to play.
At the end of the day, they come back together and he proposes to her. Not to forget to mention that his manager was called Sam and she wanted desperately to be his girlfriend and even went to the extent of filing some papers for Noah’s custody and demanding a paternity test on Liam’s behalf, even though she had been one of the reasons he did not know that Josie had called to tell him about the pregnancy.
His back-up singers and partners also move in to Beaumont to continue their music while Liam eventually fires Sam and hired Katelyn as his new manager.
In the movie on the other hand, Liam left Josie on their wedding day, running away from getting married to her because he wanted to pursue his music career rather than becoming a husband. Unknown to both of them, Josie was already pregnant and only dropped one voice message asking him to call back or she would never call again.
He didn’t call back, instead he kept on carrying the same old phone around. The story started with the wedding, Josie excited to be getting married to the love of her life, the town people excited about Liam’s hit song and talking to Josie’s mother about it. Meanwhile the woman was more interested in being reminded that her daughter was getting married.
The scene then moves to eight years later Liam is on a stage, performing some of his hits and the crowd is going berserk. Time lapses and he is awoken by a barfly he had obviously spent the night with. She had drawn the curtain open and was singing one of his songs. Also so excited to have spent the night with the popular Liam Page that she broke the phone where Josie’s message was.
He runs off barefooted to a store to fix it just because he didn’t want to lose her voice. This frustrates his manager, Sam because the media has carried the news obviously changing the narrative and making it look like he is on drugs. After fixing his phone, he returns to Sam’s and it is at Sam’s place he hears the news that his best friend from high school Mason Belmont, was killed in a car crash.
Now he returned to Louisiana for Mason’s burial and his father is a pastor not the arrogant businessman we saw in the book that had been one of the reasons Liam left. Josie is in church with Jackson and Billy her daughter, named after Liam’s late mother. After the service she goes straight for him and punches him in the tummy without a word. His father comes to him and he goes home with him. Now in the book, he never went home because he hated his arrogant father who never accepted Josie on the basis of class.
Let me pause here to mention that I loved the music played at the intermissions, those songs found a way to make up for the direct emotions you feel when reading the book. The songs really dictated the mood of the movie.
Ok, now back to the story, Liam is home with his Father, they have a brief and strained discussion about the expresso machine and his late mother’s garden. In the book, Liam’s mother is not late, she is very much alive only she is a drunk and fancy wife of his rich and class conscious father. Soon Sam calls to yell at him for jumping a concert in Denver. He apologises and tells him about the passing of his friend and that softens Sam.
Josie owned a flower store quite all right but was not in a relationship. The man we saw with her seemed to be her brother and he was barely in the picture except when he wanted to warn her and when he saved Billy from choking.
The Josie in the movie seemed stronger and more composed than the one in the book, in my opinion and I could not understand why the change of child from boy to a girl.
Then as against the book where we felt the pain of Mason’s death and were constantly reminded of him, in the movie we were more in tune with the love between them and Liam’s sorrow and remorse in spite of his fame. In the movie he was more like the ‘prodigal son’ returned while in the book he was kinda like the most wanted and ‘most waited for’ come home. I don’t know if you get my drift.
Anyway if you have neither read nor watched the movie, don’t be left out. Go read, watch and come and tell me if you think differently from what I have said. I will be waiting. Ciao.
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