Well let me just say this book took some getting into. And getting through. It is supposed to be in a "series" with Tending Roses but I never saw the connection at all until reading the end notes from the author. So this is more like a "connections" series as compared to a "chronological" series. Whatever. I'm just glad I'm done.
Not that this was a bad book, it just isn't what I was in the mood for. After all my precious and light, fluffy pioneers I wasn't expecting to jump into the depths of tragedy and read through a personal growth, letting go of the past story. Man but it wore me out!!
So, in lieu of a review I found several quotes that real stuck out to me.
I thought about all the times I had passed those fancy houses on the lake, and hated those people with their money and their brand new cars and their attitudes. I realized now how wrong that was. It seemed back then that they were so different from us, but now I could see the thin line that separated us -- just houses, cars, clothes. All things that could be swept away in an instant. (Jenilee, p.63)
You have a use for everyone you meet in life, and God don't put in any extras. (Eudora, p. 78)
Except God don't create accidents. We only think there are accidents because we don't know what God has in mind. (Eudora, p. 115)
When you are afraid of everything, the thing you are most afraid of is happiness. You're afraid to step into even a little piece of it, because you know that as soon as you do, someone will slam the door, and you'll be trapped in the darkness again, remembering how the light felt. (Jenilee, p. 217)
"It ain't like either of us have to regret our lives. We had good lives, both of us. Not the lives we might have had, but good lives." [June - a man]
I turned away from Ivy, away from the past, and thought about my life. I thought about Olney and his trains. I thought about the farm, and the children we made, and the grandchildren who ran to me with their open arms. I understood that if I had gone a different path, none of that would be. All of the things that mattered to me, all of the things that would last, would never has come into being. The other life, the one I could have lived with June, might have been good, but so was this one, and it wasn't over yet. (Eudora, p. 269)
Had I not suffered the loss of everything I thought would matter, I would have missed everything that truly mattered in my life .... (Jenilee recalling letter she found, p. 279)
If you are in the mood for a good redemption story, then jump on this one. If not, wait until you are. I might have appreciated it at a different time.
Twenty-year-old Jenilee Lane whose dreams are as narrow as the sky is wide, is the last person to expect anything good to come out of the tornado that rips across the Missouri farmland surrounding her home. But some inner spark compels her to rescue her elderly neighbor, Eudora Gibson, from the cellar in which she's been trapped. To make her way to the nearby town of Poetry, where the townspeople have begun to gather. To collect from the landscape letters, photographs, and mementos that might mean something to people who have lost everything. Brought close by tragedy, Jenilee and Eudora will learn lessons about the resilience of the human spirit and the ties that make a community strong. They will travel to a place they never would have imagined. (picture and description at amazon)