A Heartfelt Journey of Love and Growth

4.5 out of 5 stars

From the very first chapter of The Missing Piece by Kat Jackson, I could tell I was in for a ride that was as endearing as it was unexpected. Initially, the story’s pace felt measured, almost too deliberate, which left me a tad restless. However, as the plot unfolded, revealing its layers with exquisite timing, I found myself deeply invested in the intricate emotional landscapes of the characters.

Renee is initially a puzzle. Her life is a tightly run ship, devoid of unplanned emotional detours (or really any feelings at all). But isn’t life all about the unexpected? Jackson masterfully portrays Renee’s gradual unraveling and eventual transformation in a believable, moving, and honestly rewarding way as a reader. Witnessing her initial rigidity transform into something softer, more malleable, was a pleasure. And I think my favorite part is that it wasn’t a “new” her, it was just a part of her she’d locked away and never accessed until the right person came along. It felt like a softening of edges more than a full “I’m a new person” feeling.  In a world where hearts are often hidden away like precious, forgotten treasures, Renee’s journey is a reminder that sometimes the missing piece is not a place or a person, but a new perspective.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the subplot involving Renee’s child, Jess’s gender identity was handled with grace and sensitivity. It wasn’t just a backdrop; it was a transformative axis for Renee, sparking changes that rippled through her life and redefined their relationships. This narrative choice enriched the story and highlighted Jackson’s ability to tackle complex real-world issues with nuance and respect.

As for the romance, oh, it simmered! It took its sweet time building up, but the crescendo was worth every moment spent getting there. The chemistry between Renee and the mysterious figure from her past (no spoilers, remember!) evolved in a manner that was both tantalizing and satisfying, making every chapter a step closer to a fulfilling denouement.

Lila Winters’ narration was the cherry on top. Her ability to embody Renee, from her most uptight moments to her emotional breakthroughs, added a layer of authenticity that only a skilled narrator can bring. Winters managed to turn what could have been a mundane narration into a vivid, emotional experience.

Overall I thought that The Missing Piece is a testament to the beauty of growth, the pain of change, and the power of love to redefine lives. Kat Jackson has woven a narrative that catches you off guard and warms you from the inside out, and Lila Winters brings it to life with her dynamic and heartfelt narration. It’s a journey of finding the pieces of oneself that are lost, forgotten, or perhaps just undiscovered.

Book Description:

Order. Purpose. Predictability.

Dr. Renee Lawler organizes her life around those principles, and rarely does she stray from them. After all, they’ve brought her this far in life, where she enjoys her role as English department chair at a small but reputable New England university. Renee very much appreciates that her academic reputation instills sparks of fear in students’ hearts.

If there’s room in her heart for anything more than literature and controlling those around her—Renee hasn’t allowed herself the chance to discover that possibility. Her life is perfectly in order until one fall weekend, when her world collides with possibility and the past, setting off a tidal wave of changes she could have never predicted.

four-half-stars
The Missing Piece by Kat Jackson
Narrator: Lila Winters
Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
Published by Tantor Audio on October 24th 2023
Genres: LesFic/Sapphic Fiction, Slow Burn, Workplace / Office Romance
Format: Audiobook
Buy from Audible
four-half-stars
Brian

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