The book: (from the publisher) One moment, Olivia Kavanaugh is preparing to walk down the aisle and embrace her own happily ever after. The next, she learns that her fiancé, Wyatt Hammond, has been in a fatal car accident. Then comes a startling discovery: Wyatt’s car wasn’t heading toward the church. He was fifty miles away…with a baby gift in the backseat.
Her faith shaken, Olivia pores over the clues left behind, desperate to know where Wyatt was going that day and why. As she begins uncovering secrets, she also navigates a tense relationship with her judgmental mother and tries to ignore the attentions of a former boyfriend who’s moved back home. But when she starts receiving letters written by Wyatt before his death, she must confront a disturbing question: Can we ever know anyone fully, even someone we love?
When an unexpected path forward—though nothing like the life she once envisioned—offers the promise of a new beginning, will she be strong enough to let go of the past and move toward it?
The author: A true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux, Christa Allan is an award-winning author who writes stories filled with hope, humor, and redemption. Her novels include Test of Faith; Threads of Hope; Walking on Broken Glass; Love Finds You in New Orleans, Louisiana; and The Edge of Grace.
Christa is a mother of five and grandmother of three, and she recently retired after twenty-five years spent teaching high school English. She and her husband live in New Orleans in a home older than their combined ages. They spend their time dodging hurricanes and pacifying their three neurotic cats and Herman, their dog.
Genre: Fiction/Christian Fiction/Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Maturity rating: PG
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Reflection: This book’s description reeled me in with its promise of a contemporary woman dealing with secrets and more secrets, plus relational tension — that’s my kind of story. Plus, I knew a little something about the author and her books that delivered “real-life drama with real-life inspiration.” Yes, please, I’m in.
The premise asks the question: “Can we ever know anyone fully, even someone we love?” To know and be known. A primal human need, and I am drawn to stories that explore that need — and especially the ramifications of when it goes unmet. Christa purposes to flesh that out in a realistic way, but always with hope beckoning the reader forward. She also populates her story with likable characters — except, of course, for the ones who aren’t likable. Mom, for example… I kind of itched to give her a gentle smack or two…. Dad and Ruthie I just wanted to hug. And Mia? Everybody needs a friend like her who’s not afraid to speak the truth (in love).
All in all, a compelling contemporary read for women who relish a good story about secrets and relational tension set in the context of spiritual awakening.
Thanks to the author for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.
After words: Have you read any of Christa Allan’s previous novels?