One indicator of a good book is that you quickly begin to care for the characters. This is a charming story that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even shake your head. As the heroine begins her new life in Speculator Falls, New York with a “bang,” she quickly becomes an engaging heroine, and the reader immediately wants her to succeed.
Although the first-person, present tense point of view took a little getting used to for me, a lot of people enjoy the “in-the-now” feeling as they read. The believable, quirky characters and the story with a clear spiritual message made it a very enjoyable read.
In a nutshell: A young woman ventures from her hometown to another state for the first time to live and work. What obstacles and tests of her faith will she encounter, and how will she attack each one? As she tries to encourage others to surrender their fears to the Lord, how does she cope with her own?
Jenna Anderson is a city girl who is clueless about small mountain town living. But one thing she does know is how to care about people.
Ben Regan meets Jenna in a most awkward and unusual circumstance. As the two become acquainted, he sends Jenna mixed signals that have her running through a gamut of emotions.
Sara Bivins, Ben’s grandmother, “village matriarch” becomes like a second mother to Jenna, freely imparting faith and wisdom in her lovingly persuasive manner.
Howard Wheaton is Jenna’s favorite “curmudgeon” at the senior center. She instinctively sees a side of Howard that he tries hard to hide.
Shirley McIlwain is the tenacious volunteer receptionist and self-proclaimed office manager at the senior center, who becomes Jenna’s right hand in organization.
Kyle Swarthmore is an arrogant financial mogul who has ulterior motives for his generosity and a plan to undermine Ben’s hopes to expand his business.
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book which will keep you engaged and wanting to see what happens next. I loved the way Arduini employs humor in her story, and she had me giggling as I read. The characters are well-written and lovable. Well, most of them are lovable. But then antagonists aren’t supposed to be lovable, are they?
If you like easy, fun reads with substance, this one certainly fits the bill.
Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ through surrender. She’s the author of the Amazon bestseller, Entrusted and co-author of the international bestseller The Love Boat Bachelor. She also shared her story in the Amazon bestseller infertility devotional, A Walk in the Valley. She’s the fiction contributing editor for the digital magazine, Imaginate, and blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.
Learn more about Julie by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com.
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