Friday, December 1, 2017

From This Day Forward: a Bethany House review

From This Day Forward by Lauraine Snelling is the fourth book in the Song of Blessing series.  I have previously reviewed A Harvest of Hope (book 2) and Streams of Mercy (book 3).

This book does stand alone, however, I do think it would be better if you have some experience with the characters and how they relate to one another.  Picking this series up from the start would be my preference.

One of the things I've loved about visiting the fictional town of Blessing, ND is that it reminds me of home.  Some of the crazy and very Scandinavian names are familiar to me from the older generation living on my newspaper route, for instance.  The characters seemed like younger versions of people I knew growing up.

I love that.



From the publisher:
Deborah MacCallister, head nurse at the Blessing hospital, has loved Toby Valders since her school days, but she's had enough of their on-again, off-again relationship. With the help of the young women of Blessing, Deborah decides that by the end of the summer she will either have won Toby's heart--or she'll give up on him forever.

Toby truly cares for Deborah, but he's never felt like he could commit to marriage or a family. When Anton Gendarme, the new schoolteacher, comes to town, sparks fly between Deborah and Anton. The sudden competition makes Toby do some serious soul-searching, but is it too late?

As the town of Blessing prepares for harvest, Deborah faces the most important decision of her life. But where does her heart truly belong?
That description is pretty spot-on, which is always nice.  The characters in the Song of Blessing series struggle with very real issues and very real decisions, and they are written in a way that you can truly believe they are actual people with real lives.

Everyone doesn't live happily ever after.  Not every conflict is neatly wrapped up by the time the final credits roll.  Life is a bit messy and complicated.  Messy and complicated does not necessarily mean dark or depressing though.  Overall, the characters are seeing the beauty of their lives and are working for better for themselves and their community.

This is what keeps drawing me back to Blessing. 

Disclosure:  Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.