I really enjoyed this book. It draws you in immediately with the first sentence: "The summer I turned twelve, I tried to kill myself." We don't find out until near the end why exactly she did, though there are hints. Bethany left the little town of Peaks as soon as she turned eighteen, not to return for ten years. She receives a call from her estranged mother that her former best friend's husband is in a coma, then finds out her grandpa had a heart attack. She decides to visit for just one week, then back to Chicago and she can feel like she's done her duty. When she arrives, she's surprised to find a man helping her grandfather on his farm and living there besides! They're immediately at odds; she has a hard time facing Robin, her former best friend; and she can't stand running into her mother and the pastor from her childhood. Needless to say, she can't wait to get back home. As soon as she gets back to Chicago, however, her life starts falling apart and then she gets really bad news. So back she goes to Peaks to try to sort it all out.
This is Katie Ganshert's first novel and I thought it was really well done. I thought the characters were written very realistically. Bethany has to work through a lot of issues related to her childhood, including her distrust of God. She writes emotional scenes well and I really liked the love story. I also liked that Bethany's profession was an architect, which was a nice change, and how she made her career a reflection of her life.
She's a very descriptive writer, which I enjoyed, but she did go on a bit about Bethany wanting to leave Peaks. I wish we would have gotten a little more interaction between Bethany and her mother with more of a resolution to their relationship, but there's going to be a book two focusing on her friend Robin, so maybe we'll get more of it then. Overall, this was a solid first novel and I look forward to traveling to Peaks again to revisit Bethany and Robin next year!
I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.
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