Set during the Great Depression, a young woman finds herself alone raising three children and attempting to manage an apple orchard. Bitterness from her own past as well as the pain inflicted on those around her cause Eliza to turn her back on God. In her eyes, God is punishing her for the many wrong decisions in her life.
Through the telling of each person’s story, whether dead or alive, Eliza discovers there is more in hidden places than what appears to the naked eye. But is the appearance of a hobo who flirts with death that puts Eliza’s already topsy turvy world into a complete tail spin.
What did I like about this story? I’ll have to list a few for you as there are so many.
· Christian story –This is a story of God’s love and forgiveness and how to apply His Word to our lives no matter how bad it is. There is no foul language. There is no sex. There is love but it is shown as being part of God’s plan and pure. References to sexual sin are ….. references.
· Discusses real pain – I am always saddened when a book either glosses over the pain a person can experience or minimizes the full effect of it. Ms. Austin explores the pain of betrayal, child abuse, hate, rejection, and the absence of love. As a reader, I could feel the pain with the characters.
· Shows how good people can sin – There is a big misconception that good people don’t sin. Ms. Austin shows many good people in her book who sin through lies, omission, and deception. They believe they are doing the right thing but don’t realize they are relying on others or themselves and not on God.
· Forgiveness is not explained as being easy – Too many stories in print or in the movies make forgiveness appear to be easy. The truth is that forgiveness can be hard and painful. It is equivalent to slicing open a severely infected wound and cleaning it out. It has to be done to heal but it can be the worst pain ever felt.
· The characters are endearing – I fell in love with the characters. Eliza is raw in her feelings yet strong and determined. Gabe is full of love for those around him but wants to learn how to reach out to others. My all-time is Aunt Batty who seems a little off her rocker but has more wisdom in her crazy pinky than anyone else around including all the “good” people in town.
This is not a thin book. At 429 pages, it has 19 chapters which means each one is long. There are many breaks within the story in the chapter. You might tear up a few times, but you won’t be bawling. You’ll be feeling so much empathy.
Make this one of your summer reads. You’ll be glad you did.
Note: I purchased this book with my own funds.