©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

When Mercy Rains

I love picking up a Kim Vogel Sawyer book and sitting down to read. I know I'll lose myself in the plot and in the characters' lives and I won't come out again until I'm through. When I saw that When Mercy Rains was available, I knew I was in for a good treat, and I was far from disappointed.

The people:

Suzanne is a young single mother who hasn't seen her family in nearly twenty years when she gets a letter from her brother telling her that her mother has had an accident and needs Suzanne's nursing skills.

Abigail is Suzanne's mother who sent her away when she became pregnant outside of marriage. Abigail couldn't stand the thought of the shame that would come her way, and has become embittered by Suzanne's and her own actions.

Alexa is Suzanne's nineteen-year-old daughter--and loves to bake and create new desserts especially.

Clete is Suzanne's brother who sent for her

Shelley and Sandra are Suzanne's sisters and they resent Suzanne's coming to take care of their mother.

Paul is the man who got Suzanne pregnant and is now a young widower with a young son, Danny.

The setting:

From Franklin, Indiana, to Arborville, Kansas, Suzanne travels to Abigail's Victorian house and is surprised by how run down the farm has become. Repairs need to be made to the inside and outside of the house, it is almost a time capsule back to when Suzanne lived there.

Paul has been hired by the family to make renovations to the house and make it handicapped friendly. He begins working on the kitchen, rearranging the cabinets so that Abigail can reach what she needs to be as independent as possible. Abigail sees this as an opportunity to play matchmaker and get Paul and Suzanne back together again. Paul is more willing than Suzanne to possibly reconnect.

One thing that surprises Suzanne is the hostility she receives from her sisters who were never told why she left in the first place. It takes Abigail's birthday celebration to bring all the hostilities and hurts out in the open. Abigail is sick at the bitterness she sees in Shelley and regrets how much of it must have come from her.

Suzanne holds tightly to Alexa because of the baby she gave up for adoption as ordered by her mother. When it comes out that Alexa is not Suzanne's biological child and that Alexa was found at the unwed mother's home, a lot of the anger floats away--but not all of it. Suzanne has been afraid that her family will try to "steal" Alexa away from her, but the time has come for Alexa to stretch her wings. In stretching, Alexa has decided that she wants to turn her grandmother's home into a bed and breakfast. There is a summer kitchen behind the Victorian house that will serve as Alexa's private quarters.

While this is not a truly Amish novel, it has some Amish characteristics, but primarily the characters are Old Order Mennonite, who do use modern conveniences but still enjoy a simple life. The faith of the characters reflects Kim's faith and comes out clear in the book. Paul and Suzanne both have come to regret their hasty decision to sleep together before marriage. Without preaching Kim has delineated the perils of pride and holding onto anger--how much they really cost us when we do hold onto them.

This book gets Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a dessert that will touch your heart as well as your taste buds.

Thanks go to WaterBrook Multnomah for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Sparrow in Terezin

I have fallen in love with Kristy Cambron's writing. She has a way of pulling the reader into the story with the very first line of her books and then she doesn't let go until the reader is wrung out, worn out, but thoroughly satisfied with the way the story comes out. I reviewed The Butterfly and the Violin here. Last night I finished reading A Sparrow in Terezin, and I was wrung out, worn out, and thoroughly satisfied with the way the whole story came out.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a painting of a sparrow.

Now that that's out of the way, we can get down to the nitty-gritty of the elements of the book.

There are two plots that weave together and bring life to the book. Sera and William have just finished speaking their wedding vows and officers show up to handcuff William and take him off to jail--a fine way to open the reception. It takes about four days before William can get bail and be released to find out what has truly happened. William is accused of selling assets from the Hanover Corporation and keeping the profits. Because William is tight-lipped about what he truly thinks happened, Sera takes it on herself to go to London and find out from William's father herself.

Kaja lives in Prague with her family in the late 1930's. As her father sees the writing on the wall, he works to get Kaja and her sister Hannah out of Prague to safety. Hannah and her husband settle in Palestine, and Kaja goes to London and finishes her education then gets a job as a copy editor for the London Telegraph. When a story about the concentration camps and death camps run by the Germans comes across Kaja's desk, she knows she has to go back to get her parents out of Prague. The day after she arrives, the SS arrives to transport her family to Terezin, along with thousands of others. Because Kaja's father is a physician and because he signs their house over to the SS, the family gets better jobs, better accommodations, and more food, such as it was. Kaja is put in charge of teaching the children too young to do any meaningful work. She tells them stories and has them paint pictures, write poetry and stories.

Kristy has worked several life-affirming concepts into this novel. The first is Kaja's favorite verse: Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, for I am with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (annotated). The other concept that weaves itself through the story is the one of God's time not being the same as our time, that God cares for every creation, including the sparrow, and His time is more important than our time.

I know I have left out several important facets of the plots, but, I'd like to leave something for the reader to discover. =) It's worth the time and effort to plumb the depths of this book!

Thomas Nelson provided an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Undertaker's Wife

Dee Branch Oliver is the widow of a funeral director, a funeral director in her own right, and quite the writer besides.

The Undertaker's Wife is divided into several parts, beginning with the Dee's single life and dating with Johnnie, the funeral director; their married life; Johnnie's death and the aftermath; ending with a serious talking-to regarding funeral plans and wills.

I really want to focus my review on the last part of the book. Dee brings the voice of reason, and the voice of experience to the how-to's she includes in her book. There are so many things we take on the fly or outright ignore in our lives that should be at the top of our attention lists. Dee gives very good advice about taking care of wills and final plans. My father's final plans were on the order of "you can't use these funeral homes, they made me mad," or, "my services will be on Saturday morning and the preacher can only speak for fifteen minutes...I want everyone to be able to be back home in time for lunch."

My mother, on the other hand, had a notebook where all of her last wishes were written down. Since Mama outlived Daddy by six years, it was easy to follow her wishes because it was all planned out.

Dee also gives very good advice about writing obituaries, it was simple to write the ones for my parents because the local newspaper only allowed a certain format and information to be included for the free obituary and that was all my parents would allow. That simple obit would fit me fine. I don't need it to be my biography. The only thing I need to do is to make my wishes known for any memorials for me.

The one thing I truly need to do is to get a will written and copied for my children.

Dee doesn't preach her instructions, but she makes her feelings well known. The humor in the first sections of the book offsets the seriousness of this last section of her book. It's like the hook to bring the reader in to the seriousness of what she has to say about the end of life, because she's seen it from the family's perspective and the funeral director's perspective.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a free ride in a hearse.

Zondervan provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

Like a Flower in Bloom

I've read quite a bit of Siri Mitchell's work and I've loved what I've read, but most of the time she writes with a deeper plot than most authors of this genre. And I like that! Like a Flower in Bloom has a bit more humor in it than some of her other books, and I like that, too! In some ways this book reminded me of some of our car trips while my children were growing up. Often my husband would stop the car to identify a plant on the side of the road. Every road trip was a plant identification class.

Like a Flower in Bloom delves deep into the world of botony with Charlotte Withersby and her father rambling the countryside finding various plant specimens to identify them and illustrate them for publication. Charlotte was very talented with the illustrations and loved doing the work, until her uncle stuck his nose into her business insisting she get married. In her uncle's machinations, she meets Miss Templeton, a girl just a bit younger than she is who doesn't want to marry except for true love because she feels that she won't live a long life.

Through the course of the book, both ladies meet Mr Stansbury (a fairly wealthy man with a large collection of plants) and Mr Hopkins-Reeve (the local rector who has been collecting plants because he believes it is expected of him). Charlotte gets involved with both men in connection with their plant collections as a way to get back at her father who hires a Mr Trimble who shows up at their door unexpectedly. She truly doesn't want to get married. Her life has been helping her father since her mother died, and she doesn't want to give it up.

In the author's notes Siri explains how she had to study botany for this book, and like any good author, she knows her subject matter. The research in the times of the novel is also excellently done. Siri always does an outstanding job with intertwining research into her plots. I haven't given much of the plot in my review because to give much more of a synopsis would give away too much of the plot. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and an orchid for your plant collection.

Bethany House provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beyond All Dreams

I have come to love anything Elizabeth Camden writes, she writes with an elegance I don't often find. Beyond All Dreams is a book for someone who not only enjoys historical fiction, but also enjoys thinking deeply about the reading itself.

Anna works at the Library of Congress in the Maps department. She loves her job, it allows her to do something important and it allows her to research what happened to her father when he was a cartographer in the Navy fifteen years earlier.

Luke Callahan is an up-and-coming congressman from Maine who has stepped on the Speaker of the House's toes once too often. When he develops a friendship with Anna, he takes on her cause of finding out what happened to her father.

Most of the rest of the characters are just added color for the basic story and added depth for Anna and Luke. Neville, Anna's friend, helps her out with her research from time to time. He works in the patent office and has access to many new technologies that he shares with Anna. My favorite was the flashlight.

After Luke's political career seems to be imploding, he pushes the issue of what happened to Anna's father, until he ends up in a meeting with the Secretary of the Navy (Theodore Roosevelt), President McKinley, the Speaker of the House, and a couple of other players in the cause. What he finds won't comfort Anna, but her desire to know the truth overrides his ability to keep the secret of the meeting.

Luke's character is known for his explosive temper and it shows up from time to time in the book, but Anna seems to know how to corral the temper.

The setting of the book is near the turn of the twentieth century, during a time of unrest involving Spain, Cuba and the US. Elizabeth's research into the times and growth of industry, as well as the political scene. She does very well in integrating the history into the story between Anna and Luke. Her stories are compelling and engaging and this is even more so. I know that in some places in the book, tears escaped my eyes. When I read, I become immersed into the story so that I don't pay much attention to the world around me.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a map to buried treasure.

Bethany House provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

Steadfast Heart

It's been a while since I've read any of Tracie Peterson's work, but this novel and series is set in Seattle and I do live in Washington State, so I thought I'd give this book a go. I am sooooooooooooooo glad I did. I cannot wait until the next one in the series comes out and I hope that it is about Abrianna. I've waffled around trying to pronounce her name, and I've decided it's Aubrey-Anna. But she isn't the mainest main character. She is A main character but not THE main character. Now I'm confusing myself. I'll just get to the review.

Lenore Fulcher is a child of privilege, but she is an unspoiled, caring young woman who really wants to make her life count for something more than fancy dresses and society events.

Kolbein Booth is newly arrived in Seattle, looking for his younger sister who has run away from home.

Abrianna is Lenore's best friend, an orphan raised by three women who also run a marriage school for potential brides, and she is also the friend of the street people around the wharf in Seattle.

Wade is the wagon maker who has made it his job to keep up with Abrianna and keep her out of trouble.

Priam Welby is a human and drug trafficker who needs his come-uppance. He would like to court Abrianna as a means of getting the building her "aunts" own.

The weakness: Abrianna took more of the center stage than Lenore did even though this book was Lenore and Kolbein's love story.

The strength: Well-defined characters bring the story to a beautiful garden of personalities and events.

The book is the first in a series of novels, and it is set up for the continuing story. I am hoping that the next one in the series brings Abrianna and Wade together. Here's what I can see happening: Priam will kidnap the "aunts'" Chinese servant Liang because he can sell her into prostitution for a high price. Abrianna and Wade will hunt for Liang and eventually bring Priam's empire to an ignoble end. It may take two novels for all this to happen, but that's where my mind takes the story. It may even take two novels for Abrianna to see that Wade is the man for her.

One event in the book will stay with me for a long time--Lenore and her parents have gone to San Francisco to visit the man her father is selling his freighting business to. Lenore finds the daughters of the man rather vacuous and vain. When one of the daughters beats a servant for dusting the room where her wedding dress is being displayed, Lenore takes issue (albeit silently) with the behavior and begins to see servants as humans just as much in need of kindness as everyone else.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a dress for the next ball.

Bethany House provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Biblical Fiction at its Finest

Angela Hunt always writes compelling fiction, the kind that drags the reader in from the cover of the book, much less the opening paragraph. In Esther, you find all the drama, all the intrigue, and all the promise that any reader can want.

Hadassah is a young, Jewish girl living in Susa with her cousins Mordecai and Miriam. She is young enough to still have stars in her eyes and dreams of what life could bring. While she loves her cousins, who have raised her since her parents died, she has dreams of grandeur far beyond her station in life. Mordecai and Miriam have picked out a young man to be Hadassah's husband, but Hadassah is reluctant to fulfill the marriage contract.

Meanwhile, in the palace, Xerxes is holding banquets that last for months and disrupt the whole city of Susa. During one of these banquets, Xerxes calls for his queen to come and grace his friends with her presence. She flatly refuses, even though it costs her her crown. After a time, Xerxes personal attendant recommends that he seek a new queen, which starts a huge hunt throughout the whole kingdom for the most beautiful marriageable women.

As the threat of being chosen for the king's harem becomes more and more real, Hadassah agrees to complete her marriage contract, only to be caught by slave traders and brought to the palace. Hadassah quickly becomes the favorite of the king's assistants and because of her honestly humble manner, she becomes the king's favorite and is soon named the new queen.

Anyone who has read the book of Esther in the Bible knows what happens, but Angela has fleshed out the story, brought personality to the persons in the story. She has brought dimension and history to the setting; sights, smells, tastes, touches, and sounds to the characters--engaging all the senses through her written words.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a banquet of the finest foods.

Bethany House provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Brentwood's Ward

In general, I love Regency fiction, and I was all prepared to love Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep.

I'll start with the good stuff first: The plot moves along quickly so that it is a fast read. The settings are described well without pulling the book into serious dullness. The character descriptions are so well done that it is easy to picture them in your mind as you read. Michelle has included characters the reader loves to hate, who have no redeeming value at all, and who add to the humor of the book.

Now the bad stuff: There are so many characters that it is hard to find them with any depth. I am sure there are depths to Emily Payne that I never plumbed, but they just weren't in the book, and the same goes for Nicholas Brentwood. On the surface, Emily is just a flibbertigibbet who cares more for bonnets than anything else. Nicholas is a Bow Street Runner hired to protect Emily while her father is away on a trip. Emily's father knows danger is lurking just around the corner. I am not sure why Nicholas has better character development than Emily, but I felt they needed equal footing in the book.

One caveat here: These are my OPINIONS. Someone else may like the book better than I did, I just felt that there were too many characters to give them the depth they were due. The story moves along quite well, but it felt just a little bit too shallow for me. Four Stars.

Shiloh Run Press provided the book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Keys of Heaven

This is a story that runs along the lines of the Mitford Series by Jan Karon. Adina Senft has written a book that carries the reader through the day to day life in an Amish community while telling a story at the same time. There is a bit of romance in it, but it not front and center. There are family conflicts, friendships, and peeks into the lives of the Amish in the community. Sarah is learning to be an herbalist healer, and she's the widowed mother of Caleb, at home, and Simon, in Colorado. Her neighbor is Henry Byler, a potter whose work is valued for its singular beauty. Some of the other characters in no particular order are:

Amanada, Sarah's sister-in-law, a gentle Amish woman waiting for love to find her
Priscilla, a young Amish woman who works at the Rose Arbor Inn
Ginny, the owner of the Rose Arbor Inn
Eric, the son of visitors to the Rose Arbor Inn
Trey, his wife, and Justin, his older son: the family of Eric. Justin can only be described as a pill. Trey and his wife are rather non-attentive parents.
Linda, one of Sarah's patients
Silas, a man who would like to court Sarah
Benny, a young man who would like to be Priscilla's friend but doesn't quite know how to go about it

These lives intertwine and grow in gentleness and caring. This is a quiet book, not a lot of plot twists and turns, but gentle rolling hills in the plots. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a Key of Heaven flower.

FaithWords provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Ultimate How-To

I've read a few of Rachel Hauck's books and always enjoyed them, but How to Catch a Prince blew me out of the water. Corina Del Rey works for a rag newspaper that deals in scandal of the highest order. Not exactly the kind of life she envisioned for herself, but it's the life she has. She manages to muddle through each day, missing her twin brother since his death in Afghanistan.

Stephen Stratton is Prince of Brighton, a small island country just north of Great Britain, and he's caught in a sticky-wicket. He's married to Corina and now that marriage has been found out by his brother King Nathaniel. It's Stephen's job now to find Corina and get her to sign annulment papers. Corina has decided she will sign only if Stephen will tell her what truly happened to her brother, and Stephen refuses to tell her on the basis that it is classified information.

For the last five and a half years, Corina's parents have been in some sort of holding pattern, not able to move past her brother's death. Corina wants more than anything to find out exactly what happened, beyond the party line she's been told--"He died a hero."

Rachel takes the reader through fairly tough waters in finding out what Corina wants to know and then through the mourning of the death of Corina and Stephen's marriage with a little outrage thrown in for good measure.

In all the ups and downs of the book, Corina finds that she still loves Stephen and would rather spend her life with him than in any other situation, but Stephen feels he has to do what he thinks the crown wants.

There is one integral part of the story that I do not wish to describe here in my review, because it is whimsical and just a bit unbelievable (if it were to happen in real life--that's the glory of fiction). When Corina is asked by her boss to go to Brighton and cover the premiere of a movie there, she finds her motel reservations have been cancelled. A woman in a white coat directs her to a place that is basically a hole in the wall, but quaint. The hosts of The Manor take such good care of her, she has a hard time believing the whole thing is real.

When a book of this quality comes along, I question my rating system for the other books I've reviewed. I have decided that my Star rating system will be to compare the books I read to similar books I've read. So with that said (which really didn't say much), this book is Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and the Prince of your dreams.

Zondervan provided this book in exchange for my honest review.


In the Quilts of Love Series, I found Masterpiece Marriage to be the best of the ones I read. Gina Welborn has written a a short novel that describes a realistic falling in love between two people. (I really should take that last sentence in for a re-fitting, but, . . .)

Mary Varrs is trying to get a teaching assistanceship at a college that will take men and women together. She is studying plants and hybridization and needs scientific sketches to send with her portfolio.

Zenus Danes owns a textile mill that is damaged by a flood. He needs the money the fabrics would have brought in, and so he goes to his Aunt Priscilla to help him out by designing a quilt pattern to be sold with the precut fabrics as a kit.

Priscilla, in an effort to reach out to her next door neighbor, has invited Mary to come to her quilting bee. Mary approaches Priscilla about doing her drawings for her portfolio, and Priscilla agrees if Mary will do the sewing for the quilt that Priscilla would have done.

These characters have depth that is uncommon in novels of this length. The setting is mostly in the background, but when it is brought forward, it only adds to the story. The plot twists and turns with the speed of a kiddie roller coaster, just fast enough to keep the reader involved, but not so fast that the reader feels run over by the end of the book, a truly enjoyable speed for any reader.

I give this book five stars, two thumbs up, and a favorite quilt pattern.

Abingdon Press provided the book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Roses are Yellow, . . .

A Bouquet of Love is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Niko Pappas has moved his family from California to Galveston Island, Texas, to open a new Super Gyro sandwich shop. Unfortunately his shop is right across the street from the Rossi family pizza place, Parma John's. Instead of offering olive branches of peace, Niko offers instant competition, with vituperative comments in Greek toward Laz Rossi, the owner.

Niko's oldest daughter, Cassia wants to work in a florist, she has a floral design degree and portfolio, and she has a love of flowers that goes beyond ordinary appreciation. When she sees a sign on a trolley advertising a need for help with a floral shop, she applies and is hired immediately. Unfortunately, the owner of the florist is a member of the Rossi family, and if her father ever finds out, he'll hit the roof.

Janice Thompson has written a book that hit my funny bone just right. Imagining the stand-off between Niko and Laz was hysterical on the surface and easily imaginable. Cassia's desire to honor her father battles with her desire to be on her own and live a life outside a gyro shop. Helena, Niko's wife, wants more consideration from Niko than he's given in the last few years and stages her own protest against his heavy handed ways.

The romance between Cassia and Alex is almost a side note to the family dynamics that reside in the novel. Cassia becomes friends with several Rossi family members and walks the tightrope between the Italian and the Greek families. When some of her siblings also find themselves on that tightrope, Cassia feels she must come up with a way to approach their parents about the Rossis. When she finds that her mother has also befriended the Rossis, Cassia knows that the volcano is about to blow.

Alex is a bystander in all of this, loving Cassia, supplying flowers to the floral shop, and loving the Rossis too; but he is no stranger to loud families, because he has one himself. And when he lets Cassia meet his family, he ignites the spark that will allow Niko's volcano to blow.

I loved the way Janice brought about reconcilliation to Helena and Niko, the Pappas family and the Rossi family, Cassia and her father, and how she brought the whole book to a satisfying conclusion.

Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a Rose in any color to smell as sweet (you'll have to read the book to get this reference).

Revell allowed me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rock A Bye Baby

An Amish Cradle is a collection of novellas that describes real life worries and concerns after the romance has happened--and a fun collection of stories about Amish babies and their parents.

In His Father's Arms by Beth Wiseman is a story about young parents who have courted, married, and now are expecting their first child together. When Ruth Anne has her baby, she and her husband find that the little guy has Downs syndrome and some congenital problems that go with the syndrome. Finding God's plan in all this is confusing and unsettling.

A Son for Always by Amy Clipston continues the story of Carolyn and Joshua from A Mother's Secret. Now Carolyn and Joshua are expecting their first child together, but Carolyn is still working at the Lancaster Grand Hotel. She'd feel better about staying home, but she feels that she needs to keep working in order to provide for her son Ben, who was born out of wedlock. It's not until she overhears a conversation between Joshua and Ben that she finally is able to see God's place for her.

A Heart Full of Love by Kathleen Fuller nearly broke my heart. Ellie and Christopher are expecting twins, but Ellie's mother, Edna, can't let Ellie deal with her daughters on her own. Ellie is blind and Edna feels that she must step in and do everything for Ellie. The conflict boils up throughout the story until Christopher tells Edna she's hindering more than she's helping. Ellie does need the help, but she doesn't need to have everything done for her.

An Unexpected Blessing by Vannetta Chapman is a bit predictable but is still a compelling story. Etta and Mose think their quiver is full until at age forty-two Etta finds she's pregnant again. Throughout the book, Etta prays for her six children, but most of her prayers center on her son, David, who left and hasn't been heard from for two years. There's quite a bit of excitement when Etta goes into labor and on the way to the birthing center, they get stuck in a snow drift. Neighbors help them out of the snow drift and get them to the birthing center with not much time to spare. Vannetta has even more excitement built into her story but I'm not going to spoil the rest of the story.

All four of these authors are accomplished in their craft, and do not disappoint in these novellas. The characters are fully developed, the plots are easy to follow, compelling, and will lure the reader in like a worm on a fishing line.

Five stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a baby to hold.

Thomas Nelson provided this book in exchange for my honest review.

Greetings, . . . .

Greetings from the Flipside is not a book I'd recommend: I wasn't impressed with the quality of writing, I didn't like the characterizations, and the plot confused me more often than not.

Hope wants to be a greeting card writer in New York City--that's her dream, her raison d'etre, her life's work; but she doesn't want to write just ANY card, she wants to write cards with humor and cards that fill niches that have not been filled yet--cards like break-up cards, sorry you suck cards, the anti-romantic cards.

In the meantime, Hope gets stood up at the altar and in leaving the church is assaulted (I get confused here exactly how it happened, I'm not sure if the problem is that the writing wasn't clear enough or if I skimmed over that part. That could be my fault so I won't put that on the authors). The assault puts her in ICU in the hospital in a coma that she's not coming out of and no one knows why.

Here's where the plot gets weird: during the coma, Hope has dreams (sleeping dreams, not wishing dreams) about going to New York and finding work at a place called Heaven Sent Greeting Cards. The problem is she's been declared dead and because her mom got a death certificate for her, she can't actually work anywhere.

During Hope's coma, a man she knew from grade school comes and sits by her side in the hospital, talking to her, trying to get her to wake up, and falling in love with her while she sleeps on.

The story bounces back and forth between Hope's coma-dream and real life. It interrupts the flow of the story and on the whole detracts from the continuity of the plot.

Two stars.

B&H Publishing Group provided this book for my honest review.