Synopsis: Katie never got over the death of her husband and the loss of ever having a family of her own. Two years later the boy she loved when she was seventeen came back to town along with the daughter Katie gave up for adoption. Zack Ferguson had never forgotten Kate, and never knew about Gracie until she came to him for help. Her adoptive parents had died, her aunt didn’t want to deal with her, and she was pregnant. Zack hoped Katie could help, but can she ever forgive him for leaving and can he ever learn how to love.
Cover: The artwork leaves much to be desired. There is an unknown and never mentioned flower displayed prominently in the foreground, and a couple staring into the middle distance by a lake in the central section, and the title displayed among the clouds toward the top of the book. It is far from inspiring or eye-catching, not to mention has absolutely no relevance to the story.
Location: The novel takes place in Chartreuse, Louisiana, though the only way this is shown by the characters is by the mention of southern hospitality. Otherwise, the story could have taken place in any small town in North America.
Hook: A couple is brought back together through their pregnant teenager whom was given up for adoption seventeen years prior.
Plot/Subplot: There are many threads weaving through this story that are given enough relevance it makes figuring out which is the main plot a little uncertain. Though there are three or four interconnecting stories, the toss-up is really between Zack and Katie’s attempt to build a relationship with their newfound pregnant daughter with the budding love story between Zack and Kate themselves.
Pacing: If it was not for the multitude of mini-plotlines lacing this book, the story might have been slow. Instead something was always going on because the tale was always moving on to the next person when a change of pace was needed.
Point of View: The story is told from five perspectives, that of Katie, Zack, and Gracie, but also Annette and Dave, Katie’s divorced in-laws who are still trying to deal with the loss of their son.
Theme: The recurring moral of this novel is that there is always another side to the story and how important it is to find out what the other person’s perspective is.
Character: The ladies of the Curl Up N Dye hair salon are a hoot. They are extremely nosy and interfering, but always have the main characters’ best interests at heart. Should anyone be in need of assistance, the townsfolk are there with food and a lending hand… if only to be a part of the latest gossip and drama.
Romance: Two love stories are taking place over the course of this novel, that of Katie and Zack as well as the one between Annette and Dave. Katie and Zack’s growing feelings for each other is the adorable love story you expect, but what is unexpected is how the author made a lying, cheating alcoholic seem like an underdog who deserves a second chance at love.
Unfulfilled Promise: The various threads weaving through Gracie’s life are left dangling. The father of the baby, her adapting to her new school, how she is going to deal with her new baby and school is all left without a conclusion. This wouldn’t have been nearly so aggravating if the story gave any indication of a sequel, but that was never implied.
Quote: “No decision is a decision. Inaction is an action… When all is said and done, which will you regret more: not taking a chance on love, or giving love a chance?”
The Verdict: I picked up this book because I was always fascinated by adoption reunion stories, even though I have never been overly fond of main characters who’ve lost their spouse either to divorce or death. It ended up being a rather good book, and one I scarcely put down for longer than it took to eat or sleep. I would recommend reading it, but perhaps looking for it at the library is the best option until you’re sure you like the author’s style.