When I pick up a novel by Raney I know it is going to be an emotional one. This one is no exception, so get your box of tissues handy.
We've followed the various Whitman family members in this series. We were with the parents, Grant and Audrey, when they turned their home into the Chicory Inn and Landyn came home unexpectedly, her marriage falling apart. We were with Corinne and Jesse when he was wrongly accused of harassment by a disgruntled employee.
This novel centers on the middle daughter, Danae, and her husband Dallas. They have been trying for years to have a child but with no success. It is hard to read about Danae's heartbreak when the family gets together, especially since her sister is pregnant – again. And Dallas will not even talk about adoption. The years of fertility treatments have taken a toll on their marriage.
Desperate to get her mind on something else, Danae volunteers at a new women's shelter in town. The battered woman she meets there forever changes the lives of Danae and Dallas.
This novel is full of emotional themes. Dallas was adopted and his bad experience shades his thoughts about the possibility of him and Danae adopting. The problem is that he has not been open with Danae, telling her his entire story. Ultimately he comes to the point of realizing complete openness with his wife may be the only way he will really heal.
Another emotional issue is the idea of open adoption. The thought that the birth mother could change her mind almost seems beyond what adoptive parents should be called to endure.
The whole concept of infertility is a heart breaker. It was hard to read about the family times, Danae's little nieces running around and Danae enduring the scene with such longing for a child of her own. It is really a test of their faith in God to accept what He has been doing in their lives.
This is another great novel from Raney. I highly recommend it. She has done an excellent job of creating the characters and the plot through which they move. Discussion questions are provided that help readers think through the issues in the book.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
You can read my review of the first novel in the series, Home to Chicory Lane, and the second, Two Roads Home.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this novel and you can read other reviews here.
Deborah Raney has won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and has twice been a Christy Award finalist. She and her husband traded small town life in Kansas for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, You can find out more at www.DeborahRaney.com.
Abingdon Press, 304 pages. You can purchase a copy here.
I received a complimentary egalley of this novel through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.