When I grow up, I want to write like Christa Allan.
Her faith shaken, Olivia pores over the clues left behind, desperate to know where Wyatt was going that day and why. As she begins uncovering secrets, she also navigates a tense relationship with her judgmental mother and tries to ignore the attentions of a former boyfriend who’s moved back home. But when she starts receiving letters written by Wyatt before his death, she must confront a disturbing question: Can we ever know anyone fully, even someone we love?
When an unexpected path forward—though nothing like the life she once envisioned—offers the promise of a new beginning, will she be strong enough to let go of the past and move toward it?
My ReviewIt’s every bride’s worst nightmare: jilted at the altar. And then things get worse. No, Olivia wasn’t jilted—her husband-to-be died in a car accident just hours before the wedding. While driving away from the church. With a gift for a small boy in the car—except neither Olivia nor Wyatt know any small boys. And then Olivia finds out she’s pregnant. Which wouldn’t have mattered if she were married, but she’s not and now her mother is barely speaking to her because what will Scarlett’s church friends think when they find out?
This is Christian fiction, and is fascinating for the two views of Christianity it presents: faith vs works. Doing the right thing vs being seen to do the right thing. Displaying God’s love in action vs … not. Scarlett, Olivia's mother, is like too many people in church: not prepared to do what most people would think was right because of how it might reflect on her. Ruthie, Scarlett’s mother and Olivia’s grandmother, doesn’t care what people think.
Behind the awkward relationship between Olivia and her mother is the even more awkward situation regarding Wyatt … which her parents initially hid from her, a decision which provokes even more fractures in an already-fragile relationship. Why was he heading away from town? Where was he going? Who was the gift for? And does Olivia really want to know?
Okay, so the plot is obviously full of questions which hooked me immediately as a reader. The characters were fascinating, especially the contrast between Ruthie and Scarlett (and with Olivia’s poor father pulled between the twin loves of his wife and his daughter).
And the writing was outstanding. There were so many good lines, so many truths, Christian truths and life truths. Olivia has a lot to learn in both areas, and she does.
Yes, when I grow up, I want to write like Christa Allan.
Thanks to Waterfall Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.