I enjoyed this story for several reasons. The setting, central Texas, is familiar to me. It’s historical fiction, which is always a favorite. And it’s about something I wasn’t familiar with, homes designed to help wayward females get their lives back on track. The author holds nothing back as she describes the hardships of the era. No glossing over things that are unpleasant. The story follows the lives of a couple of main characters, tracing their paths over a period of several years. Children born, children lost, friends and family gained and forgotten. It was a little drawn out in parts and occasionally had me wondering where the story was going. Still, it was an interesting read!
Everyone loves a Christmas miracle, and though agony-aunt columnist Ruth Ryans has advised many a citizen on how best to obtain theirs, she has no hope for her own. It all started when Ruth’s dad died, and her zest for life, her job and her friends kind of just went kaput.
But a couple of pals unexpectedly lift her up, and Ruth muddles through the letters for her column, realizing that the loneliness of her readers jibes with her own. She tries reaching out to others – and it works, nudging her out of her own head. There’s one big hurdle — finding her mom — and that thread carries throughout most of the book, providing a backbone for the subplots.
This is a feel-good book that gives hope to people missing their loved ones — without being contrived or syrupy sweet. I pegged the ending way back in the mid to early chapters, but that’s okay, because a happily ever after is a happily ever after… and that’s what I’m looking for 6 weeks before Christmas!
By the way, you’ll meet the most beautiful people in this book. My favorites are Gloria – what an angel – and Nicholas, the pianist. They spread joy far and wide, and Emma Heatherington is wonderful for writing them.
I enjoyed this book…but it just wasn’t a great book for me. It felt a bit flat…More like an outline for a great book, but missing all the real meat of the story.
At the end of the day though I have to hand it to Jio. So often in love triangles, the author always turns around and tries to make one of the characters into some sort of villain or undesirable person to make it easier for the reader to accept the choices made. Jio didn’t do that. She kept it real. I really appreciate that. I wish more authors did so. Life isn’t always in black and white with clear-cut choices…so why should books be?
This book also made me miss Seattle a wee bit…okay….more than a wee bit…I knew all of the places mentioned.
I wish I had loved this book more. It was a great story and yes, I found it interesting. It was also a very quick read for me. I couldn’t wait to see what happened so I had a hard time putting it down. That happens less and less these days, so again, I give even more props to Jio.
I don’t wish to discourage anyone from reading this book. Please do pick it up and give it a try. It is a good book….but it did feel a bit like a lifetime made for TV movie.