A second chance for Joy
While recovering at a remote cabin, Dr. Simon Walsh stumbles across Cara Amos. Injured and left for dead, Cara is harboring dark secrets. Yet Simon can't help falling for his mysterious patient. As her memory returns and her injuries fade under his gentle care, he vows to help her find her missing daughter.
At The Lemonade Stand shelter, managing director Lila McDaniels is helping Cara's estranged father, Edward Mantle, bond with his traumatized granddaughter, Joy. And his feelings extend well beyond gratitude.
Bringing this family together seems impossible… Luckily, Christmas is the season of miracles.
A story about healing after domestic abuse, about survival, about finding your way again, and about the kind of love that can help in the process.
This book was not an easy read. It took me a good part of a week to digest and think about the horrendous events the characters had lived through. Even all the abuse is in the past, and happen only in the memories and nightmares of the characters, I would recommend being careful with the story if violence towards women and children can be a trigger for you. Even without an abusive past, I felt the impact of the story. That gives you a great picture of the talent the story is written with, and how deep in the mind of the characters the author takes the readers as the story progress.
The dual stories happening at the same time and twining together, until combined towards the end, gave a broader picture of the events and the history of the characters. It was a little bit distracting yet also helpful in taking off some of the deeper angst that could have built in the tale, if not known what was happening in California.
All four main characters have gone through heartbreaking experiences in their lives and are broken souls in desperate need of healing and finding forgiveness for themselves. This takes time, effort, and energy that leaves a little else to be handled in their lives at the same time. The romantic relationships are very slowly developing on the backburner and take a second seat in the progress of the plot.
While realistically yet sensitively talking about domestic abuse, the story does deliver hope in the better tomorrow's to come. The tale points out there are places to look help for, it reaffirms the power of love and the possibilities of healing and mending of body and soul, and it delivers the kind of ending that leaves you with faith in the future and promise of a recovery.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me