THE MAP THAT LEADS TO YOU,
BY J.P. MONNINGER
PUBLICATION: ST. MARTIN’S PRESS; JUNE 13, 2017
About the book:
Two strangers take the road less traveled…
Heather Mulgrew’s world is already mapped out: she is going to travel abroad with her friends after college, come back to a great career in September, and head into a life where not much is left to chance. But that was before an encounter on an overnight train introduces her to Jack, a passionate adventurer who changes the course of her journey and her life.
Throwing Heather’s careful itinerary to the wind, they follow Jack’s grandfather’s journal through post-World War II era Europe: Vienna, Budapest, Turkey—exotic places that serve only to heighten their feelings. As September looms, Jack urges Heather to stay with him, to keep traveling, to give in to the romance of their experience; Heather convinces him to return to the United States.
Jack has a secret that could change everything. And Heather’s world is about to be shaken to the core.
The Map That Leads to You is a breathtaking novel about love, loss, and the best-laid plans that are meant to be broken.
Kleenex alert with this one! The Map That Leads to You is an amazing story about young adults traveling through Europe! Heather, Amy, and Constance have just graduated from college and taking a trip before starting jobs and entering “the real world.” Jack is traveling through Europe following his grandfather’s journal, visiting the places he once visited and just trying to enjoy life. After meeting Jack, Heather decides to ignore her detailed itinerary and follow along with Jack and his journal travels and experiencing the most amazing romance of her life.
All of the characters were instantly likable in this novel, but especially Jack and Heather. From the first time they meet they engage in endless banter back and forth between them that is sometimes serious, but often hilarious and sarcastic. After Amy has to suddenly return home, Heather and Constance continue on with Jack and his friend Raaf, resulting in both Heather and Constance finding love.
Romantic just isn’t a strong enough word to describe this powerful love story. Romance is everywhere whether they are strolling through Paris, reading and discussing Hemingway, or just experiencing new things together. It would have been impossible for them not to fall in love on this incredible journey, but despite the setting, I still think Jack and Heather were soulmates and simply meant to be together. The author’s writing transports you to the places they visit where you can see and hear what’s around them, smell the food, taste the drinks, and fell the emotions building between them. The vivid imagery, dialogue, and characterization completely blew me away from beginning to end.
I don’t want to give any spoilers about this amazing story, but you will need a box of Kleenex nearby while reading this one. This novel evokes feelings of adventure, romance, disappointment, sadness, and joy – but there are a few tearjerker moments! I cannot stress how much I recommend this novel which I found myself completely lost in for hours. Between Monninger’s exquisite writing and the beauty of the plot, this is an amazing novel.
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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