About a month ago, I received a short novel in my mailbox called Make It Stay by Joan Frank. It was an attractive novel with a beautiful teal cover and it was a free copy from Librarythings that was given to me to review. Because the book was so short, I admit that I took forever to get around to reading it because I thought that it would be an easy one sitting reading session that I could quickly complete.

That didn’t happen. When I picked up the book, I found myself struggling to make it through even the first 20 pages of it. Let me explain why.

Make it Stay is a book about a couple who are longtime friends with another couple. The book begins with the wife, Rachel, a curious writer, asking her Scottish husband, Neil, to tell her, yet again, how he met their friends, Mike and Tilda. As Neil weaves the story of how he met Mike and how Mike eventually come to find Tilda and have a child together, Rachel discovers some disturbing information about their friends. After that night, nothing is the same between her and Mike and Tilda as well as her and Neil. The intermix of very different personalities casts all of their relationships into dubious territory and the novel weaves the reader through the ways that they deal with the repercussions of their choices.

The plot sounds straightforward enough, but it is a dialogue heavy book and also contains many flashback sequences, which can be somewhat confusing. While I liked the descriptive details, I found it difficult to want to pick up and read this book and I was never quite satisfied after setting it back down, especially at the end of the novel. I rarely have so little to say about a book, but I just couldn’t get into this one and enjoy it.