Torn apart as teenagers by those who should have loved them best and expecting a child, Shane Galanter and Lauren Anderson searched for each other for years, but after eighteen years, they've almost given up hope. Emily, the daughter Lauren thought she had lost, wants to find her parents and possibly bring healing to the family. She might not be able to do that, but she believes God can do it through her.
The last book I read by Karen Kingsbury became so gut-retching that I wouldn't read it's sequel. For a while, I was afraid this one was going to be the same way. It was at first, but then things began to turn around, and it became more hopeful. In the end, I must say I really enjoyed it. The only thing I questioned with mechanics and research is if Lauren would have worn shorts to an orphanage in Afghanistan. I think a reporter there would try to respect their customs to some degree. I was disappointed when, near the end, political stereotypes were blatant. All Christians were Republican, conservative, and supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The few non-Christians were all liberal, anti-war, and probably Democrat. A good writer should do better than this.
Emily Anderson has moved to the West Coast to be nearer her family and meets Justin Baker. She's never dated much and has devoted much of her time to soccer, writing, and college, but it doesn't take her long to realize Justin is the one for her. Remarkably, he feels the same about her. The only blot to her happiness is that her mother and father are having a hard time reconciling their opposing political views. Shouldn't a love that strong be enough? When real tragedy strikes, only God's strength and love will see them through and open another window to happiness.
At first, I was very put-off by this book. It began where the other left off, with even more slanted, biased political views expounded. And, although I agree with some of author's opinions, I see there are good and bad in all people. All military personnel are not heroes with no flaws and always right. Neither are all liberals and the media stubborn people who are always wrong and perpetuate erroneous concepts, because they refuse to recognize the truth. CNN, the New York Times, and Newsweek was certainly disparaged. I was uncomfortable with the fact that Karen Kingsbury seemed to have God siding with her viewpoints. Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for our soldiers and their families. However, I don't think all conservatives support them or all liberals abhor them. I think God loves us all, and, as authors, we need to be careful not to insert our opinions for what we have God thinking. Sticking to the Bible is always safest. It does show us the mind of God. Another example of this all or nothing, black or white view is the statement from the book, "Soldiers were men of faith." I really wish all soldiers were Christians with great faith, but this is not necessarily true.
Sometimes there were two speakers in one paragraph, which could be quite confusing. As Lauren and Shane's opposing political views tore them apart, despite a love as strong as
I've ever seen, I kept thinking, "How asinine! What is more important here?" I
actively stay abreast of current affairs, for it affects us all, but it is certainly not more important to me than anything else.
Toward the end, the views loosened a bit and were not so harsh, but the book became intense. If you plan to read this one, have a box of tissues at hand. It is certainly a tear-jerker. However, the ending is filled with hope and promise.
Karen Kingsbury has remarkable talent as a writer, but these are not two of her best, because she injected too much of her own biases, instead of concentrating on telling her stories. If the one-sided political agendas were taken out, the novels would be outstanding, and, even though I have problems with the way the prejudices are presented, I would still recommend the books. The stories were that good.