Life doesn't always go the way we planned. That was the case for Ryan and Abby. After she lost the baby, their marriage disintegrated and she left.
Ryan still loved her and had the three years since the divorce. When he is invited to the anniversary celebration of Abby's parents, he realizes Abby had never told them about the divorce. He finds out Abby is planning to drive to Maine and convinces her that he must go along. If nothing else, to present a happily married facade to her parents. But his real desire is reconciliation.
This novel is a good lesson in God's grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. There is certainly a great deal of work that must be done before a divorced couple could find their way back together. Some of that might entail dealing with past hurts. Another aspect might be dealing with how each of them was treated by their parents. The self-image parents instill in their children has a huge impact in adulthood.
I always enjoy learning something in a novel. This time is was about personal truth. It refers to what a person believes about herself (or himself) at the deepest core. That belief can greatly affect a relationship. We tend to generate the results we think we deserve. That is, we might say a cutting remark to a spouse, thinking to generate a violent response because that is what we think we deserve. Good counseling and God's grace can heal those kinds of issues.
This is a different kind of romance. Ryan and Abby are not “caught up in romance.” Rather, both of them have to work very hard on what went wrong. Because of that, this is a very realistic novel. It gives a good indication of the work that needs to be done to make a relationship really work.
This is the last in The Chapel Springs Series. We have lived and loved with the McKinley siblings. I have thoroughly enjoyed the novels in the series, including this one.
Denise Hunter is a bestselling novelist who has received the Holt Medallion Award, Reader's Choice Award, Foreward Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. She lives in Indiana with her husband and their three sons. You can find out more at www.denisehunterbooks.com.
Thomas Nelson, 320 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this boo from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.