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Let It Be by Chad Gayle
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Let It Be

by Chad Gayle

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I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Go ahead and start singing it. You know you want to.

And you know why it’s okay? Because Let it Be by Chad Gayle is inspired by that Beatles album.

Michelle Jansen is newly separated and trying to figure out how to start a new life with her children, Pam and Joseph. But things are tough because her ex-husband doesn’t seem to want to allow Michelle to do just that.

For the full review, visit Love at First Book ( )
  LoveAtFirstBook | Aug 3, 2013 |
For some people hearing specific songs or albums trigger memories of a specific time or event(s) in their life. The Beatles album "Let it Be" marks a definitive time in the life of the family in which Gayle's novel, with the same title, is written about. I am not a Beatles fan and I have never heard of the "Let it Be" album but that did not hinder my understanding of the album's significance to this novel.

Michelle is determined to start a new life on her own separate from her husband Bill. This new life will also include a new life for her two young children Pam who is thirteen and Joseph who is ten. Joseph is moody and hates being away from his dad. Bill uses this to his advantage and manipulates Joseph as he has Michelle for years.

The year is 1979 and being a single mother on the cusp of a divorce is not popular with the masses. I admired the fact that Michelle never played the victim nor was she bitter and angry she will simply determined. She could have played all those roles and rightfully so. Instead she possessed such a graceful determination. Michelle did not succumb to selfishness when a new relationship presented itself. She remained focused for her children. She kept a steady pace and was a great character to read. Michelle could have easily fit in with The Women of Brewster Place.

I had to remind myself that Joseph was a ten year-old because he had some heavy thoughts that in my opinion would have read better for a teenage character like his sister Pam. His love of the library and art was such a perfect fit and was a good outlet for his aggression. Joseph's character did give the book a overall solemn feel.

There were times when the narrative was disjointed in regards to which character was narrating. Frankly, Let it Be was a good story but it was flat. It read linear (if that makes sense). I'm sure Gayle in some way wants the reader to connect the with the Beatles reference and it had it's place. I got it. The "girl power" of Michelle's character really pushed this book along for me.

DISCLAIMER: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher. The views and opinions shared are strictly my own. ( )
  pinkcrayon99 | Jul 25, 2013 |
I have been a fan of the Beatles since I was quite young and inherited some of my aunt's vinyl album collection when she passed away at a tragically young age. It was the promised connection between their music and Chad Gayle's debut novel, Let It Be, that convinced me to agree to a review.

It is the summer of the late 1970's in Amarillo, Texas and Michelle is trying to rebuild her life after fleeing her abusive husband, Bill, with her two children, ten year old Joseph and thirteen year old Pam. Joseph doesn't like Amarillo, doesn't like that his sister in charge during the long summer days while his mother works and doesn't like, or understand why, his father stayed behind.

Let it Be unfurls through several points of view tracing the events of the summer as relationships reach a crisis point. Though it is not always immediately clear when the perspective shifts as who it belongs to, each voice is distinctive . Given that the characters range across age and gender, I think the author has done a remarkable job to create such individuals. I feel as though their thoughts and feelings are appropriate and genuine, from Michelle's distress to Joseph's bewilderment and Bill's seething anger.

Each chapter is referenced by a Beatles song from the Let It Be album. From 'I Me Mine' to 'The Long and Winding Road' to 'Get Back', the song lyrics relate in some manner to the journey of the characters. Ultimately the lesson for Joseph, his mother and father are the 'words of wisdom', let it be.

A short yet intense novel exploring the themes of change, betrayal and redemption, Let It Be is an impressive literary debut. ( )
  shelleyraec | Jun 14, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0988661004, Paperback)

"What do you get if you set a heart-breaking story of a major family breakdown to The Beatles' classic album 'Let It Be'? Answer: this debut novel by the incredibly talented American author, Chad Gayle. It's a painful and poignant portrayal of a family torn apart, set to a soulful soundtrack." --Liam Tarry, The Book Boy

When Michelle Jansen moves to Amarillo to get away from her abusive husband, she struggles to meet the emotional needs of her two children as she continues to rebuff the demands of her overbearing ex, but she finds love and support in the arms of a coworker who is as much of a Beatles fan as she is, and she begins to gain the confidence and the strength that she needs to stand on her own. Michelle's ex can't bear to see her happy, however, and she's blindsided by an unexpected betrayal as her ex turns her very own son against her; when this family that has already been split down the middle is thrown into chaos, it's up to Michelle to find a path toward healing and forgiveness, a way to right the wrongs that have hurt them all.

With chapters named for and influenced by songs that appear on the Beatles final album, Let It Be is a touching tale of loss, longing, and forgiveness that chronicles the breakup of a marriage, the destruction of a family, and the struggle to come together in the aftermath of what remains.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:53 -0400)

Michelle Jansen longs to create a new life for herself and her children, but her ex-husband wants to destroy her new life, and she is unexpectedly betrayed by her own son.

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