ABOUT THE BOOK:
Decades of loss, an unsolved mystery, and a rift spanning three generations
Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year-old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year-old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.
Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can't understand her mother's over protectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother's inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan - a cold case agent - cherishes her grandmother's lavish attention and affection.
When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel's painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that's been lost?
I enjoyed this character study woven into the plot of finding a sibling missing for seventy years. Because Hazel felt responsible for her younger sister having gone missing, she was very protective when she raised her own daughter, Diane. Diane resented the control and raised her own daughter to be very independent. Misunderstanding and resentment are in full force when the three generations of women are together.
It was interesting to see how the revelation of actions in the past helped the women to understand their behavior in the present. Understanding brought compassion and renewed love between them. Once Diane lost her resentment, she was open to the life changing power of the gospel. That was a touching aspect of the novel.
In addition to the character transformations, I enjoyed reading about the cold case investigation. It did seem to be solved way too easily and I thought there were a few loose ends about how the actions seventy years ago. But then, the emphasis of the novel is character transformation, not solving the mystery.
I do recommend this novel to those who enjoy a good study of how personalities are affected by events of the past and how those personalities can change when truth is brought to life. You'll get a little mystery and romance too.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read more reviews here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in seven different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband, Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren. Learn more at kimvogelsawyer.com.
WaterBrook, 352 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse. My comments are an independent and honest review.