Till Death Us Do Part is Cristina Slough's debut novel, so I really had no idea what to expect here. While I did think that this story had potential, ultimately this one wasn't for me. The blurb really caught my attention, but between the story and writing style this book wasn't what I had been expecting at all. I think that there are some readers that will enjoy this story, and it is very possible this one was just not for me personally.
Mimi and Joel have just been married, and they know that as soon as the honeymoon is over Joel will deploy to Afghanistan. Though Joel promises to come back to her, Mimi soon receives word that Joel is dead. Needing to find closure, Mimi heads to Texas where Joel's estranged brother Austin lives. Soon Mimi grows closer to Austin, and she learns that Joel isn't the man she thought he was. Just as Mimi is finally ready to move on with her life, Joel returns and her world is once again turned upside down. But not only is Joel back from the dead, he has a secret that will shatter everything he and Mimi once had.
I don't want to get into the characters too much here, because I don't want to spoil everything for those that might be interested in reading this book. But just as Mimi learned that Joel wasn't who she thought he was, the reader does as well. While I found some of it to be believable, some of it wasn't for me. The man he was later on in the book was so different from the man we first met, and while I do think part of that was real, there were some things that just felt completely out of character. I liked Mimi well enough, but I didn't feel connected to her. While I was interested to see what would happen, I just didn't feel fully invested in her story. Same with Austin. I liked him and there was so much more to the story than we had been lead to believe from Joel, but I just never truly felt like I was in this one. It felt as though I was removed completely and as though I was an outsider looking in. I wanted to really feel emotionally connected here, and I just wasn't able to. I think part of that was the writing style here. It just wasn't for me and often felt choppy. I think that because it was so choppy it was hard for me to get into the story as I might have been able to otherwise.
The other thing that bothered me was the ending here. I won't go into details or spoil anything, but as much as I struggled throughout the book I had really been hoping for an ending that would have made that struggle worth it. For me, this ending wasn't that at all. It wasn't satisfying and I was really disappointed with how things turned out. I respect the author and her vision, but personally had I known the way things would go I would never have started this book. To me it wasn't a romance, and it honestly felt like a lot of what happened here was done for shock value. It just didn't fully ring true to me with the rest of the book, and I wish that I had known ahead of time and saved myself the time. I do think that there are readers out there that will enjoy this story, and I if it sounds like something you are interested in you should give it a shot. Just because this book wasn't for me doesn't mean that it won't be for everyone.
**Review Copy Provided by Book Enthusiast Promotions**