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Sunday, October 15, 2017
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 overprotectiveness 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?
Kim Vogel Sawyer is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in several 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 and redemption. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.
It’s been awhile since I have read a book with this much emotion that had me crying so much. It is so beautifully written you can’t help but devour each word. It’s funny that I could relate to each character at some point. I saw myself in Hazel as a small child. She was so despondent over something that happened she couldn’t forgive herself. It hurt to read that her parents blamed her and to carry that guilt over the years broke my heart. I thought she was a warm and loving person. The author writes her character with a strong faith in God. I loved how she wanted to mend her relationship with her daughter and solve a mystery that has kept her a prisoner for so long in her mind.
Diane and her mother have not had a great relationship. She blames her mom for being overprotective and not allowing her to ever do anything. Diane was very stubborn and I had to laugh when she shows up at her mom’s house at the same time as her daughter Meghan. There is a strain you can feel between Hazel and Diane. I loved how Hazel stood her ground and tried many times to get through to her daughter. I saw a pattern forming as they each shared their childhood and how they felt smothered by their mother. My children will tell you I am a very overprotective mother. I wanted to keep them safe and was so afraid to let them out of my sight. Diane experienced that as she grew up and that has made her bitter towards her mom.
Meghan decides to visit her grandmother when she needs to recuperate from a car accident. I loved how the author showed a soft side to Meghan and how much she wanted her mom and grandmother to mend their relationship. The bond between grandmother and granddaughter was so moving and I could feel the closeness they shared. I loved the mystery the author wrote into the story and when it is revealed it will explain a lot about why Hazel has carried guilt for seventy years. The story has so many good things in it I didn’t want to put the book down. I cried so many tears because for me it brought back memories that are painful for me while growing up. I connected so well to the storyline about mother and daughter relationships.
The book is rich in history and takes readers on a journey of forgiveness, mending relationships, finding faith and experiencing unconditional love. I have to say this has been one of my favorite books of 2017. With such gripping emotions and connecting with characters, the story was written with such passion I could feel the author laboring over each word. Don’t miss the story of three generations and a mystery that will have you crying and cheering at the same time.
I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion.