REVIEW: Made To Hold You: Decades: A Journey of African American Romance by Elle Wright
Layla Johnson had a picture perfect life: a career as an educator, a beautiful daughter, a son on the way, and a loving husband. Only Layla didn’t count on the effect the burgeoning war on drugs would have on her family and her world. And on one rainy night, everything that she worked to attain is destroyed. Now, she’s on her own, with two young children, a mounting pile of debt…and the past knocking at her door.
Lincoln Wilson broke the one thing he treasured most. Instead of spending the rest of his life doting on his beautiful wife and children, he’s alone, haunted by his many mistakes. Determined to make amends, Lincoln works to put the pieces of his life back together again. And although it’s an uphill battle, he is up for the challenge. The last step in Lincoln’s program is to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs. When he shows up on her doorstep ready to reclaim his life, will Layla let him in?
Dear Ms. Wright,
Wow, this was a hard subject to read. The reason is I have a dear friend whose son also became involved in drugs. It was as devastating for her and her husband as dealing with Linc’s addiction is for Layla. But it had a happy ending and I wanted to see if Linc would be able to overcome his problems, too.
The opening scene shows how horrible Linc’s use of drugs is – both for himself and his family. Layla and her mother-in-law (who is a great character I’d love to have seen more of) literally bust in a door to find him in a situation that might well have killed him that night if not for their efforts. But Layla also decided that this was it, she was done with him and the lies, stealing, and broken promises that were destroying their lives and marriage.
I could easily understand Layla’s choice, despite the fact that she still loved him, in separating herself and her children from Linc’s addiction. The pain she felt at losing the man she had once pledged her future to and who had promised to be there for her was raw. I admired her strength to do what she felt she had to in order to protect her babies.
When a rehabilitated Linc appears on her doorstep, quietly asking for a chance to be a part of his children’s lives Layla is understandably reluctant but also acknowledges the fact that her trust might be gone but her heart remembers the good times they had. At first I was a teensy bit concerned that Linc was pressing too much and too quickly to be allowed back in Layla’s life and then pleased that she sets up boundaries and sticks to her decision.
Lest anyone think that Linc has been miraculously cured, I was also glad to see that he’s aware of what could lead him back towards drug use and that he’s determined not to do so. He was ready to kick his drug habit and spent time during his rehab thinking of what went wrong, what he lost, and that he wants a second chance. When he realizes he’s moving too fast, he backs off and tells Layla he’ll wait for her decision.
I think that Linc has the tools to stay away from what got him into trouble before and the will not to lose what he knows he values more than anything. Layla was given the time to forgive and the opportunity to be the one to call the shots. Their slowly building relationship takes and thankfully is given time to grow and mature. B