What a great novel. This is what Christian fiction is all about!
Ellie and Nolan have been best friends since grade school. When Ellie is fifteen, it comes out that her mother has been having an affair and is pregnant with another man's child. Ellie's father, a legalistic Christian, throws his wife out. He takes a military reassignment across the country and tells Ellie they are leaving in a day.
Ellie and Nolan meet one last time, write letters to each other, bury them in a park and vow to meet again in eleven years. What follows are years of heartbreak and pain. Ellie never hears from her mother – not even a letter. And, even though Ellie has written to Nolan, he never responds.
After several years, Ellie, desiring love, reaches out to a young military man. When she becomes pregnant, she can no longer take her father's harsh words and leaves. She is making her way as a single mom, now estranged from both her parents. And Nolan, what about Nolan? He is a successful NBA star. Does he ever think about her? She thinks about him every day.
Angry at God, Ellie is resigned to her future. But God has other plans.
This is what Christian fiction is all about. It is about how God works in the lives of those who love Him. It is about forgiveness and restoration, even when it seems all is lost. It is about hope in the midst of a hopeless situation. It is about God loving us even when we have given up believing it is so.
There are some serious issues Kingsbury addresses in this novel. One is legalism. Ellie's father is very legalistic and alienates his wife and daughter when they fail to live up to his godly standard. Other issues include infidelity, pregnancy outside of marriage, and more. Kingsbury has given us much to think about in this novel.
Be sure and have a tissue handy when you get close to the end of this touching novel.
By the way, those who read The Bridge will be happy to read a bit about Ryan and Molly in this novel.
Karen Kingsbury is a New York Times best-selling author with more than twenty million copies of her award winning books in print. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and five sons, three of whom were adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky.
Howard Books, 352 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.