Saturday, August 06, 2011

Forever After by Deborah Raney

Reviewed by Mary

A fire killed his best friend and his lifelong dream of being a firefighter. The same fire killed her husband and hopes for a family. Can new dreams replace old?

Jenna Morgan is the talk of Hanover Falls. From all appearances, the worst of her problems is losing her firefighter husband in a fire. Truth be told, that is the least of her troubles. It is much harder for her to cope with losing financial status-which has become her identity-than playing the role of grieving widow.

Lucas Vermontez didn’t die while fighting the same fire that took his best friend's life, but at times, he wonders why it couldn't have. Facing the rest of his life without doing the love of his life seems almost unbearable.

Filled with the sage wisdom your mother would love to tell you, Forever After demonstrates that hope lurks everywhere, but it’s our job to recognize it and hold onto it for dear life. Trying to maneuver through life without it, or a faith in God, is pointless. You may gain the world, but in the process, lose everything that has true meaning.

At times I wanted to shake Jenna and scream “Wake up, girl.” At others, I wanted to be that unseen force, pushing Lucas closer to her. He was too controlled at times, but only because I was ready to see that happy ending a hundred pages prematurely. To miss the last several chapters would have been to miss the culmination of everything Raney worked hard to convey, though.

I am honest in stating my pet peeves while reviewing a book and certainly one of them is a novel that builds up to nothing. The story is the best it gets and the ending just sort of drops off. I am pleased to say Forever After is a novel that builds to an even better ending than anticipated. True to form, I won’t say what that entails, but be forewarned, it is well worth saying up late to finish reading.

Forever After contains discussion questions at the end to deepen your awareness of some of the main points of the story. Raney also provides a sneak peak at the third book in the Hanover Falls series titled After All.

Part suspense, part romance, Forever After is a good, clean read that underlines the important things in life. It can never be overstated that some of the best things in life are, well, you read the book and see.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416599932
ISBN-13: 978-1416599937
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches

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