Zondervan (September 10, 2010)
Shortly after a traumatic family loss, Casey’s parents pick up and haul her off to Breakers, a small town on the southern Oregon coast. Though all of them are grieving, her parents hope that distance from their former life as well as fewer reminders at hand of the events their daughter and they suffered through witnessing will aid in the healing process they all must embrace eventually if they want to move forward and keep their remaining family intact.
As they all try to process the grief and determine how their new lives will look, their grief bound reactions continue to strain the already delicate threads that still bind the three of them. As a teenager, Casey wants to remember those she has lost while her parents wish to obliterate any signs of them in their attempt to forget the unforgettable. Typical teen behavior and reactions from Casey push her parent’s buttons and create additional tension.
When Billy Thurber appears in town selling firewood and searching for whatever odd jobs he can acquire, Casey’s father (Matt) grudgingly requests his help on a construction project he has contracted and is facing a deadline for. Casey ends up seeing the young man as her “first love” however one-sided things truly are. Casey’s mother (Irene) feels sympathy and perhaps a bit of motherly concern for the young man who might remind her a bit of her lost children.
While this book was an interesting read and the mechanics of the writing were exemplary, I personally found the story a bit slow and the plot somewhat emotionally heavy. Considering the topics these characters are dealing with both the emotional weight and the slower pace of the story are warranted. Billy’s role in the story brings the mystery of his father’s disappearance to light as well and draws the community of Breakers into it’s wake though the jurisdiction belongs to another local law enforcement team in the area. If you enjoy a mystery portioned out to readers in bites that will tempt the appetite without giving away too much too soon, then this is a book that would appeal to you. There are also some other minor events in the story that I have not addressed here though they do help move the story along and illustrate the true character of the people involved. Faith, although a central element for some of the characters is not suffocating to the story or readers. Rather Lakin highlights challenges that many of us would encounter to our own beliefs in facing similar circumstances. Through those challenges we see her characters grow and their faith evolve in practical ways. This doesn’t mean that everyone ends up rooted firmly in their initial attitudes and values. It merely highlights that the difficulties they face inform the development of their belief systems so they can continue to adjust along the way. Likely they will take a few detours from the path they are on but sometimes the detours teach us more than the path itself. (ISBN#9780310327394, 368pp, $12.99)
Visit the author’s Website to learn more about her and her books. Click the bookcover for more info or to purchase a copy. Check out what other CFRB bloggers are saying as well. Thanks to the author and publisher for a review copy.