Whatever It Takes by Jessica Pack
eBook review copy; 256 pages
Whatever It Takes by Jessica Pack is a recommended story about relationships, a health crisis, lies, and seeking answers.
Chadwick, 25, is estranged from her husband, Tyson, and living on the
family ranch with her father, Mark, when she finds a lump in her breast
and is facing a cancer diagnosis. She refuses to tell anyone about it.
She does question her father about her mother's cancer. Sienna has
always been told that her mother died from breast cancer when she was a
toddler. Her father, Mark, however, is evasive about the details of her
mother's death and Sienna is wondering why there are all these gaps in
her knowledge of her mom. She doesn't want to push her father, who is
recovering from his prostate cancer, but clearly there should be more
information about her. All she has is the stories her dad tells and the
letters that were supposedly written by her mother for Mark to give to
their daughter on certain big moments and times of Sienna's life. Tyson,
who is living in London, learns about her cancer and returns to Wyoming
The story is mostly through Sienna's voice, with a few chapters from Mark, her father, and her grandmother's point-of-view. Some of the letters that are supposed to be from Sienna's mother are interspersed between chapters. Whatever It Takes
is an okay way to pass some time but is nothing special. The problem is
it is poorly plotted/imagined. The narrative starts out with an
immature young woman facing a health crisis via denial until she is forced to deal with it.
She refuses to do the mature thing and tell people about it. Hiding it
seems nonsensical and, quite frankly, a bit ridiculous. Sienna
is not a very appealing young woman and the constant introspection
included after or before all the dialogue, does not make her any more
the whole story morphs into a mystery about who was Sienna's mother.
I'm sure the breast cancer was a way to have Sienna ask about her
mother's cancer in the plot, but to be realistic, she could/should have
asked about it anyway for a family medical history.
I'm recommending the novel because once it commits to being a mystery, it is more interesting. The twisty ending helped.
My review copy was courtesy of Kensington.