About the Book
Charleston’s Anne Brumley has long dreamed of romance while ringing the bells at St. Michael’s, but those dreams are beginning to fade. Her sister Alicia and cousin Della encourage her to strike out and make her own way—after all, she’s thirty-six. But the tall redhead is sure God said, “Stay here and wait.”
Widower Roy Summerall has happily ministered to the country folks of Church of the Good Shepherd for years. So why would the Lord call him and his daughter away to Charleston—the city that Roy remembers from his childhood as pretentious and superficial? Surely the refined congregation of St. Michael’s won’t accept a reverend with a red neck and a simple faith.
Meanwhile, Anne’s sister, Alicia, struggles with her husband’s ambition which seems to be taking him further and further from their dreams of a happy family together. And Cousin Della’s former fiancé has returned to Charleston, making her wonder if she chose the wrong path when she married her gifted but struggling-artist husband.
Family, friendship, and faith converge in a beautiful story about how God’s transforming love works in the Holy City of Charleston.
This book caught me by surprise (in the best way) because the descriptions is quite misleading. It reads as if this is primarily a love story between Anne and Roy, when they actually play minor roles until the last portion of the book. The two main players of this novel are cousins Alicia and Della and their emotional and psychological hardships.
I love character driven stories and this is an excellent one! Beth’s depiction of these characters was so vivid that I could hear the rise, fall, and twang of their melodic accents and feel every emotion that overcame them. Everything about these characters, from their deep rooted fears and dreams to the their breakdowns and growth was genuine. Beth’s impeccable representation of Lish’s postpartum depression was gritty and raw and without reservations. I loved that she didn’t gloss over any details but peeled back the layers to reveal the complexity of the mind and the conflicting emotions that all of the characters endured.
This is a dense story that deserves time to be sufficiently absorbed. The relationships and experiences that these characters endured incited introspective and critical thinking. It is not a quick or light read, but perfect if you are looking for something deeper and substantial. I applaud Beth for not ending this book with a formulaic “happily-ever-after.” Sometimes stories do not have a definite end, just the knowledge that the characters are on a journey that cannot realistically be resolved in 300+ pages. Real life cannot be condensed like that, and because these characters read as real people, it is an authentic portrayal.
**review copy provided by the publisher**