The Days I Loved You Most by Amy Neff Has Already Become the 2024 Book I Love the Most
Written By: Sable Quinn
Sable’s Rating: 5/5 stars
Content Warning: there is mention of chosen suicide due to a terminal illness.
The Days I Loved You Most, Amy Neff. Park Row Books, July 30, 2024. 336 pp.
Review on Amy Neff’s The Days I Loved You Most, her newest romance/women’s fiction novel, set to be in stores by July 30, 2024. This newest romance revolves around Joseph and Evelyn, our pair of soulmates. We can watch flashes of their journey of falling in love together and the beautiful life they build for themselves. When Evelyn is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, however, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Release date: July 30, 2024.
I don’t want this ARC review to sound too fangirly. I just contain too much unexpected (in a good way!) love and passion for The Days I Loved You Most by Amy Neff.
There are so many things I admire about this book. If we’re being honest, I would die to develop an author’s voice and magic like Amy Neff’s when I grow up. We will start by discussing her main characters and soulmates, Joseph and Evelyn. Neff is extremely talented at bringing their romantic relationship to life. Her writing successfully transported me into this world; it felt as if Joseph and Evelyn were my own parents.
We start at the Oyster Shell Inn (the Inn that has been in Joseph’s family for generations) when Joseph and Evelyn share their tragic news with their three children. Evelyn has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. From this diagnosis, Evelyn has decided that in a year, she will live her final days to the fullest and consequently end her life in one year. Joseph, deciding he could not live without his beloved soulmate, reveals that he, too, is ending his life with Evelyn in a year.
Wait – that’s completely ridiculous and insane?
Here’s the backstory: Evelyn was never close with her mother while growing up and later on into adulthood. However, Evelyn’s mother was the first to get diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Evelyn becoming essentially the ‘default caretaker’ due to no other family in the picture. Therefore, Evelyn had a front-row seat to how this disease ravages a person’s mind and body. She was present when her mom started struggling to recognize Evelyn or forgot her daughter’s name, etc. Evelyn had to endure her mother’s newly failing memory while still witnessing the millions of ways Parkinson’s wittles a person down until they are nothing more than a shell.
Evelyn had a difficult decision to make. She felt the only way she could exit this life with her pride and dignity still intact and without leaving as merely a shell of a person. She needs to end her own life on her terms. Once you read this gorgeous love story, you will understand why Joseph felt he needed to join Evelyn. There is no Joseph without Evelyn, just as there is no Evelyn without Joseph.
A brief look into Joseph’s mind on the matter:
“This has nothing to do with how much we love you all, please know we love you so much. But you have your own lives, separate from ours, and those lives will go on. Our lives—” I gesture at Evelyn “—have always contained each other. I’ve only known this world with your mother in it. A world without her, frankly, isn’t one I want to wake up in”(Neff, 75)
The next GIANT elephant we need to address in our metaphorical room is the AUDACITY Amy Neff has to write something this beautiful and heartbreaking. I am being entirely literal when I tell you that I could barely go five pages without breaking into tears. The writing voice Neff holds, paired with the flashback and present-day alternating perspectives, helped flesh out a connection from novel to reader. For me, the first time I truly connected with this novel, the quintessential point when the book sucks you in, and from that moment, you cannot press play on life again until you finish this book.
My moment struck here:
“What are you doing?” She blushes as she asks.
“Memorizing you, at sixteen.” It jolts me as I admit it, sixteen, the way it makes me want to see her at every age, to file a his one away for later(Neff, 41)
I will be forwarding my therapy bills to Amy Neff for the foreseeable future.
Okay, okay. Enough of my fangirling! The Days I Loved You Most, the newest romance/women’s fiction novel by Amy Neff will be in stores on July 30, 2024. This novel is one of the most beautiful works I have had the privilege to read, and it made me feel so much. Do yourself a favor, read Neff’s newest novel, and find out whether it means as much to you as it now means to me!
**Content Warning: there is mention of chosen suicide due to a terminal illness.