Bethany might look like a successful architect on the outside, but on the inside she has a past that plagues her. Bethany receives a phone call from her mother, her mother she'd rather not talk to at all. But Bethany's best friend from childhood, Robin, needs her. Robin's husband collapsed and is near death. Bethany knows she should go be with her old friend, but it has been ten years since she has even talked to her. And if she goes back to her hometown, there are all the memories she will have to deal with. She will have to face again the death of her father and why she hates God so much.
Bethany does decide to help Robin, and stays at her grandfather's house – the grandfather she dearly loves but hasn't visited in years. He is recovering from a heart attack and has a handsome man keeping the farm running. Bethany and Evan got off on the wrong foot, even though feelings for each other take root.
When Bethany can't take her home town and the memories any longer, she heads back to Chicago and her high class architect firm – only to find that the firm is downsizing and she is being let go. Then her boyfriend of three years tells her he is moving away.
All Bethany can do is go back home, staying with Robin. She is determined to make the best of it, no matter how work it will take. She'll fave Evan. She will deal with the memories. She'll fill out resumes. She'll stay just as long as it takes.
This is a great debut novel. The theme of big city girl going back to the country and the farm is well done. There is the theme of Bethany mad at God, the result of a self righteous preacher and the death of her father. There is the theme of reconnecting after estrangement and making it work. There's more too.
The novel is very well written. I was captivated from the very beginning when we read of Bethany trying to kill her self by holding her breath at the bottom of a swimming pool. (We finally find out at the very wend what she was trying to accomplish.) The characters were consistent and well crafted. The best part, I think, was Bethany coming to grips with her attitude toward God. Loving people surrounded her as she worked through the process.
This is a great read. I think you'll like it as much as I did.
Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest. When she is not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching romantic movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels and coffee.
WaterBrook Press, 316 pages.
I received a complimentary advanced reading copy of this book for the purpose of this review.