Forever, Interrupted was the debut novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid and was released back in 2013. Dealing with love, grief, and rebuilding your own life, this book will show you that there is no one way to happiness.
Forever Interrupted tells the story of Elsie Porter, a young woman who finds herself head over heels in love for Ben Ross. Just 9 days after eloping, Ben is killed on impact in a car accident, and Elsie is thrust onto the path of mourning the loss of her husband. Told in alternating timelines, TJR brings us through love and loss concurrently, painting a masterpiece of love and tragedy.
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Have you ever heard of supernovas? They shine brighter than anything else in the sky and then fade out really quickly, a short burst of extraordinary energy. I like to think you and Ben were like that . . . in that short time, you had more passion than some people have in a lifetime.”
Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.
Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.
Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.
“No matter how strong you are, no matter how smart you are or tough you can be, the world will find a way to break you. And when it does, the only thing you can do is hold on.”
Forever Interrupted tells the emotional and heartbreaking story of Elsie Porter. A young woman whose life is unexpectedly shattered when her husband, Ben Ross, dies in a tragic accident just nine days after their whirlwind marriage.
The novel unfolds through alternating chapters, switching between the present day and the past, revealing Elsie’s blossoming relationship with Ben and the aftermath of his sudden death. In the present, Elsie is soon battling the unimaginable task of navigating the grieving process.
As Elsie grapples with the profound loss, she discovers that Ben had never introduced her to his mother, Susan. She then becomes determined to meet the woman who raised the man she loved. So she reaches out to Susan, and their initial meeting is fraught with tension and grief.
A series of flashbacks shed light on Ben’s complex relationship with his mother, providing glimpses into his childhood and the emotional distance between them.
As Elsie spends more time with Susan, she discovers that she and Ben share a striking resemblance. This leads her to question the nature of their connection. Was she simply a substitute for the mother he never truly had? Simultaneously, Elsie learns about the depths of Susan’s grief and the guilt she carries for not being there for her son when he needed her most.
Throughout the novel, Elsie’s journey of healing intertwines with her efforts to uncover the truth about Ben and his relationship with Susan. As she uncovers layers of secrecy and hidden pain, Elsie grapples with her own sense of identity and the overwhelming weight of loss.
Together, they find solace and understanding, and in the process, they both begin to heal.
Reid (as always) takes us on an emotional rollercoaster.
The portrayal of Elsie’s devastating loss and then her subsequent struggle to navigate the bewildering terrain of grief is nothing short of powerful. Reid’s poignant descriptions capture the complexities of bereavement, immersing readers in Elsie’s world of pain and heartache. The authenticity of the emotions portrayed makes the story resonate deeply. So we truly felt for Elise. It’s a horrific predicament and one that no one can expect to happen to them. As a result, at times, I put the book down and appreciated fully the presence of my partner and friends around me.
The dual timeline narrative seamlessly alternates between Elsie’s present-day journey and her blossoming relationship with Ben in the past. The flashbacks not only allowed us to witness the intensity of Elsie and Ben’s love but also shed light on the underlying complexities of their relationship. The well-executed timeline shifts enhance the storytelling experience, creating a powerful contrast between joy and heartbreak.
As Elsie grapples with her own sense of self in the wake of Ben’s death, she confronts questions about the nature of her connection to him and whether she was merely a substitute for the mother figure he longed for. This introspective journey then allows for profound self-reflection and prompted us to contemplate the nuances of identity and the impact of relationships on our sense of self. It’s very rare for a novel to tap that deep into our hearts, so it provides some important groundwork for unpacking yourself and self-exploration.
Forever Interrupted is an emotionally charged novel that examines the fragility of life and the transformative power of love. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s signature characters make this book an unforgettable tearjerker. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a reminder of the importance of cherishing every moment.
Prepare to have your heart shattered and stitched back together as you embark on this unforgettable journey of love, loss, and healing.
Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in Forever, Interrupted?
Elsie and Ben are average twenty-somethings, but this is not your average love story. It begins bright and promising: the newlywed couple is head over heels in love, having eloped six months after they met. But it all shatters in an instant; Ben out riding his bike, is hit by a truck – and dies on impact.
The story then follows Elsie going on a journey of grief to learn who her husband truly was. In the process, she soon delves into self-discovery, grief management, and acceptance.
Is Forever, Interrupted a happy ending?
It depends on what one may consider a happy ending. There is love, happiness, and the promise of forever. Then Ben dies, and Elsie is heartbroken. But, importantly, she learns how to continue to move on with her life. We learn about love and happiness which may not last forever. Whilst this may not be a happy book for Elsie, the reader should then come away feeling a sense of gratitude for their loved ones and learn not to take love for granted.
What are the trigger warnings for this book?
General trigger warnings for: death, loss, grief, car accidents, family estrangement, infertility, death of a parent, and sexual content.
Taylor Jenkins Reid books?
With the widespread acclaim of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, it’s no surprise that thousands of people are wanting to explore more complex storytelling from author Taylor Jenkins Reid. Her most well-known works include:
- “Daisy Jones & The Six”
- “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo“
- “Maybe in Another Life”
- “Forever, Interrupted”
- “After I Do”
- “One True Loves”
- “The Bride”
- “The Marriage of Opposites”
Can’t get enough of TJK? Check out Malibu Rising!