by Jamie Langston Turner
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads: The first step to letting go of the past is forgiving it…
Every day of her life Julia Rich lives with the memory of a horrible accident she caused long ago. In the years since, she has tried to hide her guilt in the quiet routine of teaching at a small South Carolina college, avoiding close relationships with family and would-be friends. But one day a phone call from Carmen, a niece she has never met, disrupts her carefully controlled world.
Carmen is a study in contrasts—comical yet wise, sunny yet contemplative, soft yet assertive. As she sets about gently drawing Julia from her self-imposed solitude into a place of hope, she also seeks her own peace for past mistakes.
Together, the two women embark on a journey that takes Julia far from the familiar comfort of home and gives Carmen the courage to open her heart. Together, their sightseeing trip turns into a discovery of truth, grace, redemption, and, finally, love…
Kritters Thoughts: Most family dramas deal with siblings or parents and children, this book was unique in the aunt/niece relationship and I loved it. As an aunt myself and not a mother, I loved reading a book that solely focused on this unique relationship. Julia Rich is a professor on the cusp of a sabbatical year and just recently lost her husband, so her quiet house is comforting and unnerving at the same time. Carmen is the niece who has been wandering for awhile and running away from something that only with the help of her aunt she can confront and find something that she can call home.
With two very quirky characters, I was nervous this book was going to get artsy and quirky, but the author balanced the quirkiness of the characters with true heart and the perfect developing relationship. I wasn't quite sure where the book was going to go and then the author threw in the truth to Carmen and from that point on, I was sucked in and couldn't read fast enough! Although it took some time to get to that point, I don't think I would have wanted it to come any earlier.
A sweet book with quirky characters that made for a perfect weekend of reading.
Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin Random House. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.