Kendy Laswell can't wait for her daughter Maisey and fiancé Marcus to get home this third Monday in July. It's a mere six days till Maisey's wedding and there must be a thousand things to do - though Masey hasn't told her much.
But when the kids arrive, Maisey says she's tired and goes straight to bed. Kendy hides her disappointment but inside asks, for the thousandth time, what is at the root of her daughter's avoidance of her?
In Things Worth Remembering, Jackina Stark takes us through the week before Maisey's wedding. Through the first-person voices of Kendy and Maisey we live those memorable six days, but much more, as incidents trigger memories. These, plus Maisey's surprising outburst on Wednesday and a health crisis on Thursday work together to create a heart-wrenching story about mothers and daughters, marriage, unfaithfulness, family, love, and forgiveness.
The story is seen through the lens of a Christian worldview. Stark works the faith of her characters into the story in a way that is seamless and feels organic to its plot and characters.
Being a daughter myself and the mother of a daughter, I related to Kendy at a gut level. Maisey's rudeness to her mother and the way she shut her out of all her wedding plans and activities made me wish I could take Kendy aside and tell her shed better stop acting so passive and make an effort to get to the bottom of their rift.
Altogether the book flew by far too fast for me. The way it explores the mother-daughter relationship and forgiveness make it an excellent choice for individuals or reading groups. (Discussion questions are available from the author's web site.)
(I received this book from Bethany House for review purposes.)