Saffron A. Kent’s debut novel is simply enthralling. I like nothing more than to be blown away by a debut author and this author totally accomplished just that. She managed to captivate me from the beginning with her amazing writing and her engrossing storytelling. ‘A War Like Ours’ is fantastically written. It’s compelling, unique and addictive. It’s an unconventional story that kept me immersed from beginning until the end. I couldn’t put it down for one minute – that’s how much I enjoyed it!
“Let the pain take over. Let it own you, turn you inside out. Let it win, Madison.”
James Maxwell is a tortured man who doesn’t know how to deal with his past. He has many regrets and does not know very well how to deal with the guilt regarding some aspects of his life. He feels lonely and now, more than ever, lost. His wife is gone. She’s dead. And his four year old daughter doesn’t know anything about it. Because he is weak, a coward, a liar,“wrong in the head”, and doesn’t know how to deal with everything. He needs some time alone with his daughter, Katie, to figure out how to break the news of her mothers death. He decides to take Katie to a summer resort for three entire weeks.
“A beating heart doesn’t mean that I’m alive.”
“No, it only means you want to be. It’s the nature of all living things. They want to live, break free. They want a miracle. It’s called hope. Hope that one day something will transform our life, transform us as we know it.”
Maddison ‘Maddie’ Smith is broken. She’s depressed. She’s sad and she hates men. All she feels is disgust for them. She wants to forget about her tragic past and about her mother’s death, about her childhood and about the fact that her mother wasn’t there enough for her over the years. Maddison has a job at a summer resort she doesn’t particularly enjoy, and is in a relationship with a woman, her boss, who in her opinion saved her over the four last years in more ways than one.
“She kept pushing, and I kept straddling the precarious line of control and chaos.”
James had never expected his life to be so irrevocably changed by a strange woman. She’s assertive and sharp-witted and tries with every opportunity to make his life miserable. So why does he find her to be so irresistible? Maddison thinks she figured out the stranger who seems so raw and angry. She thinks the darkness she sees in him is dangerous, so she’s more surprised by the attraction she feels towards him.
Everything changes between Maddison and James with just a simple kiss. Soon, lust spins out of control between them, but in order for them to have something real and meaningful, they have to figure out if their relationship is toxic or not, if their attraction is worth fighting for.
“Tell me a dream.” (…)
“You and me.”
She frowned. “We’re a dream?”
I swallowed. “We are.”
Sifting her fingers through my hair, she asked, “Do your dreams ever come true?”
‘A War Like Ours’ is most of all original. I liked the premise and I loved the execution. If you are a fan of dark-ish, rough and edgy stories, then trust me, you don’t want to miss this one. Mrs. Kent’s debut is flawlessly written, the writing here, actually is one of my favorite aspects of the story. It is captivating and evoked so many emotions in me. I enjoyed the story-line and how the story unfolded.
To say that James and Maddison’s relationship is unconventional it’s an understatement. The push and pull between these two is fantastically done. The ups and downs between are many and I loved to see how these two try to overcome their pain, the pasts and everything new and complicated there is between them. James and Maddison are wrong for each other in some way, but at the same time very good in a f@cked-up, intriguing way. I liked them together and I liked how complicated their relationship was. As the story unfolds, you will truly believe they can heal each other, without destroying themselves in the process. At least, I did…at some point, even if their relationship is so unconventional and so implicitly unrelatable. I liked how it progressed, the passion and intensity between them and even the ‘ugliness’ that you will feel between them.
“Every day I fight with myself to stop seeing you. I tell myself that I can end it, that I don’t need to see you to feel something. But every day I fail.”
While I liked them as an item, I can’t say I liked them too much individually. I mean…I liked some of their characteristics. Both James and Maddison are intricate, flawed characters I have struggled to like or connect with, but not because they are not well portrayed, because they are, but because I got so frustrated at times with their decisions and actions. Both these characters annoyed the hell out of me at some point and I honestly wanted to punch them in the face a couple of times. However, I understood some of their decisions, even if I didn’t totally agree with them. James and Maddison are both fragile, twisted and full of emotional turmoil.
“It was addictive, the things I felt when I was around him. I wanted to hurt him. I wanted him to hurt me. I wanted to bite him so he’d bite back. It was masochistic, sadistic, twisted, tangled and so very, very us.”
All in all, ‘A War Like Ours’ was a fantastic, unique read I urge you to try if you like unconventional stories and if you’re not afraid of raw, broken characters.