This is a good Christian romance for older teens or young career age.
Ten years ago Ben and Mari had one of those special summers. Love had blossomed at a summer camp. Even though Ben had written, Marie had never answered. Life went on but his love for her never dimmed. Rebecca Fisher is the physical therapist Ben goes to when he wrenches his knee. She looks very familiar and Ben begins to wonder if she is the “Marie” he fell in love with.
Becky has made herself into a new person. She's legally changed her name, moving on from the stigma of her past. When Ben comes into her office she wonders if he is the same Ben she fell for that summer, the Ben she has never stopped loving. Even if he is, there is no way she can allow him to get close to her. It is just not possible.
The plot is the typical romance style: boy and girl love each other but there is an insurmountable obstacle preventing that love from being fulfilled. In this case, it is Becky's father. He is a well known Christian author who allowed people to believe that the examples of a terrible daughter he talked and wrote about was, in fact, his own daughter, Becky. Riding the wave of fame, her father never corrected the misapprehension. Her reputation ruined, she built herself a new life with a new name.
This is a pretty good romance. The characters of Becky and Ben are well developed and realistic. Becky believes that love and marriage are not really possible for her. Ben wants to break through the wall Becky has built to keep him at a distance. Trust is necessary and Becky is just not there yet.
I felt there was something a little “off” in the novel. Becky's parents know about the name change and are in frequent contact – her mother at least. It's her father's character and his relationship with his wife that seems off. I suppose a Christian author could allow his daughter to suffer so he could write best-selling books. I suppose a mother could allow her husband to devastate their daughter for fame. But something in those characters, the father and mother, just did not seem to go well in the plot.
I always like to learn a little about a topic when I read a novel and in this one it was about the hungry in Washington, D.C. Becky helps at a nonprofit serving the disadvantaged, many of whom do not have enough food for themselves and their families.
Older teens and young career readers would like this novel. The issue of trust and openness is a major theme. Forgiving family members is an important concept in the book too.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Elizabeth Maddrey began writing as soon as she could form letters. While she pursued studies in computer science in college and graduate school, she was always writing. She lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with her husband and their two sons. You can find out more about her and her books at www.ElizabethMaddrey.com.
Janotima Books, 242 pages.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.