ALL THE ROADS, BY J COTTER
PUBLICATION: DECEMBER 7, 2014
About the book:
All the Roads is a romance unlike any other. “It has been so long since we’ve seen each other… It seems silly that we can’t, you know, chat and catch up.” She tried to play at being casual and nonchalant, looking calmly in his direction.
“No,” Jay replied slowly, “it isn’t silly at all.”
On a rainy spring morning, Jay stops for coffee in a small Alaskan town. The last thing he ever expects is to see her, after almost 18 months of silence between them.
Jay and Elle have a past; running into each other leaves them both uncomfortable. Elle returns to a rented apartment in Maine, where she is set to begin working on a small film. Jay leaves for Anchorage before heading back to California. Their distance is minimized, however, by a constant flow of memories and thoughts, which hauntingly intertwine the two of them. Sometimes moving on really is impossible.
All the Roads is a novel that caught my attention on Amazon a few months ago and I finally decided to read and review it! This is the story of Elle and Jay – their friendship, love, and heartbreak. Introduced by Elle’s best friend Stuart, Elle and Jay become friends easily and are instantly comfortable with one another. When plans change regarding a group vacation, Jay and Elle decide to carry on together on a road trip. All the Roads is a journey of friendship, love, break-ups, career ups and downs, and how some people just seem “meant to be.”
J Cotter’s writing is beautiful throughout this novel bringing the characters to life and showing raw emotion. I must admit I struggled with the chapters and time changes, confused about where I was in Elle and Jay’s relationship for the first 1/3 or so of the novel. The novel begins with Elle and Jay “bumping into each other” at a coffee shop, and then it jumped backward and forward for each chapter which I had difficulty with for awhile. However, as the novel progressed I realized that the jumps in time periods made each chapter that much powerful, which I can’t really elaborate on without giving spoilers.
Elle and Jay were both likable characters, although there were moments that I wanted to smack Jay on the side of his head for being difficult and stubborn. Throughout the years and the changes in their lives, the one thing that remained constant was what an incredible and rare love that they felt for one another. Their chemistry and feelings just seemed to radiate from them and even when not together as a couple, their connection was still obvious to anyone around them.
I can’t say that there were a lot of exciting moments involving the plot itself, but All the Roads isn’t meant to be a thriller or suspense novel. It simply explores the lives and connections of two people and fate’s hand at bringing them back to each other no matter how much time or space was between them. This was a wonderful romance that evoked several emotions but left me with a happy, warm, fuzzy feeling.