James Preston rejected his Pentecostal heritage long ago. Now, he abandons his education to provide for the young son he didn’t know existed. Can he persuade Joni to join his new family before Isaac’s abusive mother tears it apart? Or will the court finally grant him sole custody?
Joni Maher was adopted at age six, but who is she really? Obedient daughter? Concert pianist? Sorority sister? She experiences love in James’ arms. His adorable son stirs her maternal instincts. Yet, in his family church, the power of God’s presence creates a longing she doesn’t understand.
When their carefully constructed world shatters, which will they choose? Love’s pleasure? Isaac’s safety? Or a Savior’s forgiveness?
I liked this 26 chapter book. If you enjoy fiction that has a lot of church scenes, choir practice, church tent events and bus rides, praying scenes, and characters talking about the Bible, then this book is for you. The section that kept my interest was everything else. I love reading dramas, and this story definitely provided that. Isaac was only 4, Joni was 20 (I believe), and James was around 22; they had been through so many hardships in their lives than some people may experience in their lifetime.
A laugh out loud moment for me: when James visited Joni’s home, trying to win her back. He drove her date away and ended up getting drunk with her male relatives. They were downstairs bonding and teasing him for changing Joni (a.k.a. why did he leave her at church that day; now, she’s been recruited). I could imagine their facial expressions, which seemed pretty funny to me. James had gotten so drunk that he spent the night. How did the men make it up to the ladies the next morning? Attending church LOL.
The author was great with characterization. Every main and supporting character had distinct personalities. I loved reading the different relationship dynamics. You had Kathy and James as Isaac’s parents; Kathy hating Joni’s guts, calling her a homewrecker; the bad boy falling in love with the naive, innocent girl (the way James pursued Joni was cute); Joni’s friendship with the sorority sisters and big brother until she wised up and kicked them to the curb; James with his friends; Joni with her friends; their parents trying to steer them in the right path. The only thing I didn’t understand: why were the adults pressuring James to put a ring on Joni’s finger? They were young and she hadn’t even graduated college yet–it just didn’t seem right to me. Maybe it’s a religion thing?
I enjoyed the conflict and tension in the story. Kathy was definitely a piece of work. I respected that Joni made the right decision in saving Isaac, even if that meant possibly hurting James. I will admit I didn’t agree with a lot of decisions the main characters made, but it helped with the conflict because making wrong decisions had a domino effect of causing a downward spiral until they could pick themselves back up again. Plus, they were young, playing house (sometimes you’ve got to get out of the fairy tale and start noticing the real world).
I RECOMMEND this book to read.
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