Absolution by Amanda Dick

Add me on Goodreads!
Buy me on Amazon!

Jack McKenna is a man with two very distinct pasts. One ended with a car accident involving his girlfriend, Ally, and a split-second decision with horrific consequences. Desperate to escape the guilt, he carved out a new life for himself. Four years spent hiding in the shadows, punishing himself for not having the courage to go back to her. Then, out of the blue, a phone call forces him to face up to everything and everyone he left behind.

Ally Connor’s life was split in two - before the car accident that shattered her spine, and after Jack’s sudden disappearance. Abandoning her when she needed him most, she fought hard to make it back from the brink. The face she shows to the world is strong and courageous, but behind the mask, the pain is burrowing deeper.

But fate had more in store for these two broken souls than either could have imagined. A funeral, a homecoming and a journey of self-discovery that would change both their lives - if they let it.

Suddenly, the secrets they want to hide from each other are the very secrets that could make them whole again.

5 This was OUTSTANDING stars!! *****
This is a new edition of this book... the author had to re-publish so it got a makeover! It was a book that I read last year and honestly... the first time I read it I didn't get the same impact from the story as I did this second time. Was it because of the re-writes?? It could be... but, maybe it's because the topic of Absolution is something that's been weighing heavily on my mind lately. Yes, that's probably it... :)
Each of these chapters starts with an inspirational quote... I LOVE it when authors do this... and there were some really good choices that tied in perfectly with the overall story. These were a few that stood out for me the most:

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life." -Virginia Woolf

This quote defines Jack perfectly. He has a habit of running and attempting to hide from the things he is ashamed and afraid of facing. His choices had dire consequences on his family and friends. He commits an act that most would say is unforgiveable. It wasn't until he finally decided to face his mistakes that he finally begins to see himself as the person he was meant to be. But, first he must find a way to earn the trust and absolution he so desperately needs. But, the person he needs absolution from the most is himself.

"There are four questions of value in life; What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love." -Johnny Depp

This quote definitely defines Callum and Jack's father Tom... the star characters in this book! The sacrifices they both made for Ally were a clear example of love in it's truest form. You just don't give up on those you care about. Tom and his steadfast patience in supporting his son even though Jack's choices must have hurt him deeply. Callum and his driven need to never leave Ally's side. He and Tom saved her in ways that can never be re-paid. Callum won my heart. I was forever on his side throughout this entire book because his feelings of anger and bitterness against Jack were completely justified. He couldn't understand Jack's actions and quite honestly neither could I. He felt abandoned and betrayed by his friend.

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."

This quote defines Ally perfectly. Yes, she has physical scars, but it's the emotional scars that she battles with mostly. The feelings of loss, fear and having to face the reality that her life was forever changed by that one moment was a difficult road for her to travel. Oh yes, I shed many tears for her. She's the kind of character that helps me to understand that I have so much for which to be thankful. She is a strong, stubborn, wise woman who eventually conquered challenges that most of us could not even imagine having to face. I admired her immensely. She was very strong but also very fragile.

"If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it"-Harvey MacKay

This defines just about everyone in the book. Ally had to take a chance on Jack despite how much he hurt her. Jack had to take a chance by coming back into town knowing he had to face judgment for his mistakes. Callum had to take a chance on letting his friend back into his life despite his feelings of anger. And, if none of them had been willing, they would not have been able to move forward.

This book evoked very real emotions from me personally. I have had to deal with this very topic of absolution more than once in my life! But, I think the message is... Absolution is not about forgetting what that person did, it is instead about finding a way to put the broken pieces back together and finding a new way for things to work. And, if someone is truly sorry and they feel true remorse for what they've done, love and trust can help guide us to a new place to begin.
This book might not have the same impact for others as it did for me... that goes without saying. But, this is a great book choice for those, like myself, who love a story that is thought provoking and inspiring. This is definitely going on my personal favorites shelf... and I hope it goes onto yours as well.
I truly cannot wait to read this authors second book... Between Before and After... she has won me over! Just a wonderful, wonderful writer... 


  1. Yay! Thanks Kat! So glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for a beautifully written review (one of my faves so far) :) If you read "Between Before and After", I'd love to hear your thoughts on that, too :)

    1. I absolutely will... can't wait to read it! I'm so glad you loved my review... hopefully you'll get more... good ones that is... :)