I've not encountered Jennifer Slattery's writings before, but she writes with a realism that is sometimes scary. She knows her subjects and writes them well. Beyond I Do is a book that takes a young woman, Ainsley Meadows, and puts her into many situations that are common to her real life contemporaries. It is also a book that takes a young man, Chris Langley, and does the same things with him as with Ainsley.
Ainsley has been dating Richard for five years, and engaged to him for several months when she begins to have doubts about herself, about Richard's controling nature, and whether Richard is even a Christian or not. Eventually, through her Bible Study and her own convictions, she broke up with Richard. He refused to let go and lets it take control of his life while he is trying to promote a book he'd written.
Chris Langley has moved back to town after buying a coffee shop/cafe so that he could take care of his aging mother. He doesn't like the nursing home she's in, nor does he like the care (or lack thereof) that she's receiving. The staff seems harsh with the residents, and unduly rough--almost abusive.
Chris and Ainsley on the same cul-de-sac and become friends, then volunteers at a women's shelter, then boss and employee, and then finally, . . .
As I read the book and got involved in the plot, I admired Jennifer's writing, but toward the end, all the loose ends needed to be tied up. It seemed to me that Jennifer ran out of enough words to make a satisfying ending. It felt abrupt. This book is worth reading since Jennifer does teach us all some very important lessons through it. Four Stars.
The publisher allowed me to read this book in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was offered or received.