It is always nice to revisit old friends and that is how I felt about this book. The author makes her characters come alive and you get invested in them. They become friends and it's nice when you can sit down and catch up . I'm glad to be back in Birch Creek and find out answers about my friends.
Abigail is finally home after helping her sister recuperate after an injury. It has been hard for Abigail to be away from Joel who she adores. When she arrives to see him, she can sense that something has changed between them. My heart broke as I felt her pain when she realized that Joel didn't want to be with her anymore. Why did Joel break up with her? Was it because Abigail has gained weight ? Did he find someone else while she was away from home ? The author really gives readers a feel for the heartbreak Abigail experiences. It is always hard when you get rejected by someone. You blame yourself and start to believe that no one will ever love you again. It was hard to read about how Abigail became almost like a recluse and had a hard time trusting anyone. There are definite moments in the story where I felt tears come to my eyes. How many of us have believed lies that we were ugly, not smart enough or maybe our weight was an issue? I really admire the way the author showed that love is not about looks, but about our heart.
Asa was a great character to get to know better. God had a plan for Asa to return home so he gave up everything and obeyed God. I wonder if we would give up everything and follow God ? I'm sure there were doubts in Asa's mind but he was determined to do as God said. I loved how Abigail and Asa's paths crossed. Little did they know that they would help each other with their emotional baggage. One of the strongest messages in the story is about forgiveness. It is one of the hardest things to do when you have been hurt. The author does an exceptional job of allowing characters to explore their hurt and allow God to soften their hearts.
One of the other messages I found throughout the book was about acceptance. I'm sure we can each say we have felt at one time that people have judged us because we had sinned. We hold our head down in shame and start to feel like no one wants us. Once again the author delivers very strong characters who will journey through feeling unwanted, unloved and a strong sense of low self esteem. I loved this book so much because the story flows so easily and each character was very relatable. There are several more characters you will meet in the book that play pivotal roles in the story. I highly recommend this book to readers who love a great story about forgiveness , trust and a bit of intrigue which I found to be very well written.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. The review is my own opinion and I was not compensated for it.