Bethany Quinn is a girl who seemingly has it all- a great job as an architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, youth, beauty and a boyfriend of three years. But appearances can be deceiving as she also has a past; a past she has definitely moved on from, living in a trailer park in Iowa with a difficult, confusing relationship with her mother as well as a father that left her life too soon, leaving her with heartache and despair. The past wasn’t all bad though as her Grandpa Dan also lived there on his extensive farm where so many good childhood memories were born.
Tragedy with a friend sends Bethany rather reluctantly back to her home town of Peaks as a good childhood friend whom she has lost contact with is facing huge grief coupled with her Grandfather’s health issues and she cannot avoid her past any longer. While in Peaks she crosses paths with her Grandfather’s farmhand Evan Price and as much as Bethany dislikes her hometown of Peaks, Evan loves it- the farmland, the people and the rural way of life. Peaks is a place where people take care of each other and rise up and help one another especially in times of tragedy. Bethany’s old childhood friend Robin is in need of much support. Bethany is not really sure at first if she can lend it, but several circumstances that occur draw these two friends back together and their friendship is renewed in a newer and deeper way.
Evan and Bethany are definitely an" opposites attract" kind of combination- He’s a farm hand; she’s a big city architect. He wants to farm for the rest of his life, and she… doesn’t. He has a faith in God and she’s been burned by legalistic Christians in her past and really has no need for Him. But as the story unfolds and Bethany learns the difference between who God really is and who she thought he was from a legalistic point of view, she gradually discovers that the love her Father has for her is what she really needs to help heal those past hurts.
On the whole I would say that I enjoyed the book very much. There was a sincere journey that Bethany took and I think that the back story made sense and fit together nicely. I think that Katie Ganshert as a debut novelist put in a very solid first novel. The opening is attention grabbing with the scene of young Bethany in the pool. I would say that I felt the pacing was a little slower in the first part of the novel, but I feel picks up towards the end. Other than that I would say it was a great story with interesting characters and a good message – relationships are worth fighting for, with old friends, and especially with God.
I would like to thank Waterbrook Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.