What would be the most difficult thing to forgive someone for? That was the question that sparked the author to write this novel. For Julia Bennett and her sister, the hardest thing for them to forgive was their father betraying their family.
Twenty years ago, Julia had felt sorry for her college roommate, Marney, and invited her to spend the summer with the Bennetts. The family spent time in the summer on a South Carolina sea island, Edisto. Julie still remembers the pain she experienced when she came in and saw her father and her college roommate close, too close.
Now Julie is a recognized college art professor in New York and soon to be engaged. Like her sister and mother, she still deals with the hurt from her father's actions. Even though he has been dead for years, his actions continue to pierce Julia's heart. And then Julia receives a phone call from her elderly aunt, her father's sister. Marney is ill and someone needs to stay with the children, Julia's half sisters and brother.
When Julia finally decides to do back to Edisto, to the house she remembers from her childhood but now the home of her father's second family, her life is changed forever.
This is a well written and enjoyable novel. My heart went out to Julia. She was all set for a wonderful future when the results of her father's past actions invade her life. How could she possibly love those children? But God is faithful and Julia was willing.
There was just one aspect of the novel that was less than perfect. At the very end, well, it just got tied up to quickly and too easily.
There is a discussion guide at the end of the book so this would make a fine choice for reading groups.
Beth Webb Hart is a South Carolina native and a best-selling author. She is a creative writing instructor at schools, libraries, and churches throughout the region, having received teaching awards. She lives with her husband and their family in Charleston.
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.