Tuesday, October 16, 2018
SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY
No Place Like Home by Amy Clipston
I really liked the story and thought Eva was a wonderful character. She has been estranged from her family for several years. It was sad to read that Eva and her parents couldn't work things out. Eva has a lot to think about after a tragedy strikes someone very special to her. Will she go home and try to mend her relationship with her parents?
The struggle that Eva had trying to forgive her parents also seemed to deal with pride on Eva's part. It is hard to admit when you are wrong and pride sure can stand in the way of saying, "I'm sorry." Ian is a breath of fresh air and I instantly admired how he has helped Eva's parents on their farm all these years. There is friction between Ian and Eva when she returns home for a visit. Can Ian change her mind and stay? It is a great story of forgiveness and letting go of the past.
When Love Returns by Beth Wiseman
This story is very special to me because I lost almost everything in Hurricane Harvey. It was easy to sympathize with Sarah as she makes the hard decision to return to her parents home. After losing everything in the flood Sarah and her daughter have no place else to go. It will be very difficult to start over for Sarah. She left home six years ago and hasn't spoken to them in all that time. I can't imagine the feeling she must have had as she approached her parents home. Will they welcome her and her daughter? The tension between Sarah and her mother is going to take a lot of work. Can they each find it in their hearts to forgive each other?
Sarah has a bigger problem when Abram shows up to speak with her. He has not seen his daughter and you can feel his anger as he begins to talk to Sarah. Miriam is a welcome treat to the story. She is full of life and so care free. How will Sarah explain who Abram is? I found this story to be well written and shared how bitterness can ruin relationships. One of my favorites quotes from the story is, " You can carry the burdens of your past or choose to move forward without the added baggage." Sarah chose to run away from her problems in shame and now finds facing her past is difficult.
The story is very intense at times especially between Sarah and her mother. I loved the twist in the story and it had me on pins and needles. Sarah has a lot to overcome and her past will play a big role in deciding if she stays or goes back to Houston. It will be a lesson for all when the truth comes out about Sarah's past. Sarah and her mother have had a strained relationship and readers will see how much pain it has caused both of them. I wanted to hug Sarah and tell her not to feel ashamed of something she had no control over. As a teenager, when you mess up you can feel like the world is against you. Sarah must learn that her parents and friends will always be there for her. Will Abram and Sarah find a way to mend their relationship? The story will bring tears to your eyes and give you hope as the characters work through pain, rejection and bitterness.
The Courage to Love by Shelley Shepard Gray
Irene has had a difficult life and people she thought were her friends have turned their back on her. It was a welcome invitation when Mary and Henry invite her to live with them. She has become a big help to them and Irene finally feels like she belongs . All that changes when Mary and Henry's son shows up. Marcus is very suspicious of Irene and drives her away from the comfort of his parents house. Why does he not trust Irene? I felt sorry for Irene and how lonely she felt.
Reading about Irene's past growing up broke my heart. It is hard as a child to know that your parents don't really care about you. It is no wonder Irene doesn't trust people. A feeling of abandonment has followed her through her life. Can Marcus make amends to Irene and become friends? The emotional pain Irene suffered as a child has caused her to keep people at arms length. It is hard for her to let people in but Marcus is trying to show her kindness and friendship. I loved the part in the story when Marcus comes to Irene's defense when she is accused of something. I could feel that Irene was grateful that people knew she was innocent of what someone was accusing her of. Irene has wanted to be loved by someone all her life. Will she finally find it with Marcus?
What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller
Carolyn has her hands full when she decides to open her own bakery. The place she chooses as a bakery is not in the best shape. Her family wants to help her , but she is determined to do everything herself. I laughed out loud when she runs into Atlee as she is leaving the bakery for the evening. As they collide she falls into a bag of flour. I can just imagine how she looked with flour in her hair. What a way to meet someone for the first time I say. If you want to make a lasting impression, I think Carolyn probably accomplished that.
Sometimes coming home is not easy as Carolyn is finding out. It is difficult for her to get over her past and the hurt she felt when she left years ago. Her bakery is in need of a lot of work and I loved how Atlee was able to convince her to let him help. Atlee is a wonderful man but is lonely since the passing of his wife. I loved how Atlee and Carolyn slowly became friends.
The author does a great job of bringing two lonely people together and let them learn to trust again. I'm not sure if Atlee is ready for a baking lesson from Carolyn but it sure makes for some laughs. They remind me of teenagers just starting to date. They don't want to embarrass themselves but sometimes the best plan doesn't always turn out the way we want. When something horrible happens, Carolyn is devastated. She starts questioning if she should have come back to the town she didn't feel a part of. I loved how humble she became as she poured her heart out to God. It's a wonderful story of starting over and finding your way home.
I received a copy of this book from the authors. The review is my own opinion.