Book Review: My Biggest Mistake by Leddy Harper

2 Jan 2016

Book Title: My Biggest Mistake
Author: Leddy Harper
Series: Standalone
Release Date: July 9th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance 
Edie had spent her whole life planning her future, imagining her husband, her kids, and even which minivan she’d drive. Lucky for her, she didn’t have to wait long, marrying her high school sweetheart right after graduation.

All of Edie’s dreams had come true, until they were no longer her dreams. Unable to deal with the lingering depression caused by having children, she left her whole life behind, walking away from the one thing she'd always wanted.

Donovan Leery loved his wife with everything he had and could never imagine life without her. Until he came home from work one day and found a letter from Edie, explaining she needed a break. Not only leaving him to live his life without her, but alone to raise their three small children.

But what happens when Edie is ready to come home? When she’s ready to fight for it all back? She knew it wouldn’t be easy. But she didn’t care. After spending years getting her life back together, she was ready to fight for her family. And a fight is what Donovan would give her.

She'd fight to make up for her Biggest Mistake.

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There's books out there that, just from reading the book blurb, you're pretty sure the book is going to elicit some big emotions. This is the kind of book you venture into not looking for the happy hearts-and-flowers romance with the warm tug in your heartstrings. It's instead the kind of book that tugs at your heart in the emotionally-painful, angsty kind of way. This is what My Biggest Mistake was for me...

Edie and Donovan had been married for six years, very young parents to three small children, him working insane hours while she held the house together- until she walked away. Edie abandoned her family and completely disappeared off the grid for two long years. The book takes place mainly from the day she decides to return and attempt win her family back. But can she win them back? The kids that were so young when she left don't even recognize her; the husband that harbors so much hate for what she put him through, he can't even look at her; her best friend that appears to have jumped right into the role as mother and wife in her absence. Can she win it all back? Will any of her loved ones want anything to do with her?

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Angst alert! Holy Moses, this book read so much like a memoir to me, I'm actually quite surprised it's not. It highlights post-partum depression- a subject with a fair amount of controversy due to ignorance in the subject more than anything. How can someone who has it all want to walk away from it all? Can't she just ask for help? PPD has a fair amount of misinformation and I commend the author for highlighting this and also pushing our limits in this story. I have to say there's things Edie did that I seriously have issues with.

But who am I to judge a person who is at their absolute wits end? Is walking away better than hurting herself or her children? I'd say so... She's simply a person that's a shell of her previous self. So, for that reason, I can't fault Edie or the author for the actions during that time. I do know that her husband Donnie is, by far, perfection for a woman suffering PPD (other than not noticing it at the time). I truly don't think many men could pull in together in her absence AND later find the strength to attempt forgiveness upon her return. 

But Edie isn't the young mother who walked out that day. She's a different person altogether and Donnie is quick to realize that...

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My Biggest Mistake is a book I'd highly recommend to friends who love a story that'll elicit a plethora of emotions that aren't always positive or put a constant smile on your face. Instead, a story that'll have you 100% emotionally invested in this family and their hopeful reunion. Also, readers need to have a really open mind and be non-judgemental as otherwise, they'll really struggle with Edie and her choices. Although I don't agree with the plot twist towards the end, I was a bit miffed she chose to not tell her husband the truth as to why she left them.. But I'm here to review a book based on the emotions I felt while reading it and my ability to put it down or not, not whether I would do the same in her shoes.

For that reason I easily rate My Biggest Mistake 4.5 stars. My only deduction is sometimes I was a tad bored with the seemingly incessant mental "therapy" side of it. But I guess we can't say the author didn't expound on what she went through. And I'd also have liked Donnie to hate her a little while longer- made her work a bit harder for them- just for that extra angst factor I crave.

This book I found so many opportunities to learn from. There's a lot of life lessons buried in Donovan and Edie's story and, for that, I commend this author. I could've highlighted so many... So here's a couple that I felt made a lot of life sense.

"You always know the people you believe to be in your lives permanently because those are the people you show your ugly side to. Those are the ones you know will stick by your side regardless.”

We are never given anything we can’t handle. Sometimes we think we are, but those are the times that count the most. It’s the Mount Everest, and when you’re standing on the top, nothing feels better knowing you’ve achieved it. You made it. You survived.

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