Can love really heal all things? If Sam Carroll hadn't shown up, she might have been able to get to her mother in time. Instead, Allie Everly finds herself at a funeral, mourning the loss of her beloved mother. She is dealt another blow when, a few hours later, she is sent from Tennessee to Maine to become the daughter of Miss Beatrice Lovell, a prim woman with a faith Allie cannot accept. Poetry and letters written to her mother become the only things keeping Allie's heart from hardening completely. But then Sam arrives for the summer, and with him comes many confusing emotions, both toward him and the people around her. As World War II looms, Allie will be forced to decide whether hanging on to the past is worth losing her chance to be loved.
I really liked this light, romantic young adult novel. It is also supposed to be a Christian novel, although I can't in all honesty say I saw much of God in there.
It begins a few years before WWII, and ends during the war.
The elements of romance, friendship and dealing with grief were very well and realistically done.
Allie has had a great deal of trouble dealing first with her mother's illness and then her untimely death. She can't get rid of the bitterness and pain, and finds that the only way she can survive would be to close her heart to everyone and everything. I really liked this aspect of the novel. It felt very realistic to me, and I think it would to everyone who has had to deal with a painful 'interruption' of their life.
Allie is adopted by a woman who lives in an Avonlea-type little town, where there are a lot of colourful characters, including her step-mother, and step-sister. These people seek to help her ease her pain, but she won't let anyone in.
Then her childhood friend arrives, but he is not alone.
Right on his heels is a great war.
There are not many details given to war-time, just the general idea that the men are away fighting. There wasn't much historical information in this book, nor historical detail.
I would rate this book higher if God was really present in it, in a more personal way, and not just in the from of Sunday-morning church.
Still, for a secular book, it was clean, and in every other aspect an excellent read.
I still can't imagine how a home-schooled 16-year-old could portray human nature so well.
I will be watching this author from now on.
I received this beautiful hard-cover book from Zondervan for review.