3.91 (12,491 ratings by Goodreads)
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He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him-just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he's homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day. Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She's the same as a million other girls-certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe. When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it's not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives. Blake's heart beats for Livia's, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right? In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 140 x 213 x 25mm | 454g
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1936305941
  • 9781936305940
  • 307,226

About Debra Anastasia

Debra Anastasia is busy, just like every other mom. There's dinner, the dogs, the two kids, and her violent IBS--which is under control thanks to medication except for occasional multi-tonal farts. Her first love and crowning achievement is her thriving career as the weirdest mom on the block. Her writing started a decent handful of years ago when--along with the animals and humans in her house--the voices of characters started whispering stories in Debra's ear. Insomnia was the gateway to plots that wouldn't give up, wouldn't let go. Now they stalk her everywhere. Halfway through making lunches, a twist takes hold and--fingers full of peanut butter--she finds somewhere, anywhere to write it down. Debra lives in Maryland with her family. You can find her at DebraAnastasia.com and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia. But be prepared...
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Rating details

12,491 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 38% (4,784)
4 31% (3,885)
3 19% (2,311)
2 8% (940)
1 5% (571)

Our customer reviews

I was so excited when Debra Anastasia contacted me, asking if I could read and review Poughkeepsie. After reading the synopsis and seeing all the wonderful review, I knew that this would be a book I would like. What I didn't know is that this book would grab me and make me feel so deeply. That I would ending up crying for these characters and rejoicing when happiness finally touched them. Each of the characters in Poughkeepsie has a tragic, heartbreaking past. Anywhere from a parent leaving them to abuse that they dealt with as children, we see how real families can be form and lives take such different paths in this world. Blake and Livia are two completely different people, living very different lives. Yet through smiles, friendship and then love we are able to see how amazing it is to find that right someone. Let me warn you that is not a YA book. Poughkeepsie has language, violence and adult situations. It also has one of the most emotionally moving plots and such deep, tragically beautiful characters that will stay with you for some time. This is not a book you will ever regret reading!show more
by Dani Chapman
My heart, you guys. Poughkeepsie made my heart ache in the way very few books ever have. I don't think, no matter how hard I work to properly explain my feelings, that I will come remotely close to explaining how much I loved Poughkeepsie. Here's my attempt... A young man with no home and a broken soul sits and waits. He believes that he is a monster. And he waits. He waits for the girl who shares a simple smile with him every day as she leaves and returns to the train station. To Livia, it is a simple gesture, an act of kindness. But to Blake, it means everything."Me. She sees me." Livia sees more than a homeless man sitting on a platform. She sees a beautiful soul. A kind soul. "I feel like I've always loved him, and now I just got lucky enough to find him."And she doesn't hesitate to come to Blake's defense when he needs it. And so begins Blake and Livia's journey. A journey of friendship, a bonding of souls, a test of courage and an act of faith. Blake and Livia must stand together against outside forces that will force them apart, those who don't or won't understand, and the torment that resides in Blake's mind. I feel as if I should defend or explain how it comes to be that Livia falls in love with Blake. My only answer to that is "read the book". One chapter, one paragraph will convince you. Poughkeepsie is not a typical love story, in many ways. There are no happy little mistakes, or misunderstandings that test their love. The forces that work against Blake and Livia are dark, deep, and traumatic. But Blake is worth it the trials. Livia is worth the trials. They are a pair that continually defy all that's against them, finding a way to heal and be healed. Love and to receive love. See and be seen. The secondary characters in Poughkeepsie are simply unparalleled, and could each easily have their own story. Livia's sister Kyle is without a doubt one of the most ridiculously fantastic characters I've had the pleasure of reading. Her talent for crude one-liners is one of the many reasons I loved her. I would find myself busting out laughing, mid-sob, at the jaw-dropping bombs that flew out of her mouth. Most of them are not "review-friendly" but here's one that is (kind of):"Holy f^*king dogs! You scared the uterus out of me." You see?! My heart may not have survived without Kyle. Blake has two brothers, Cole and Beckett. Cole is quiet and haunted. He has worked to build a life that will absolve him of the guilt that plagues him. Cole's devotion to his brothers, and his unwavering, soothing love for the woman who captures his heart made me love him so. And Beckett. Talk about an enigma. On paper, Beckett seems like a man unworthy of love. He's a thug, a hardened criminal who deserves every bad thing headed his way. But in actuality, though Beckett is all of those things, he is more. His love for Cole and Blake is staggering. The lengths he has gone to to protect his brothers will win you over. And as funny as Kyle is, Beckett can stand toe-to-toe with and possibly beat her in a swear battle. To find someone so funny and so proficient in the art of swearing? Be still my heart. Author Debra Anastasia's tremendous capacity to hold me with her words astounds me. Each sentence, each scene she paints with her words, was a gift. I found myself re-reading lines, trying to wrap my brain around the simple beauty she created. I am at the same time jealous and thankful for authors like Anastasia. but most of all I am grateful. Poughkeepsie is possibly the most beautiful story I've had the fortune of reading. I simply could not put it down. By the end, I was hiding from my husband, reading with a towel over my mouth so he couldn't hear my sobs. Poughkeepsie is dark and sad at times. It is also full of light and beauty. Poughkeepsie is a story of love in it's simplest, yet bravest form. I am so lucky to have read it.show more
by Andrea Thompson
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