|Book Review by Suzie Johnson|
Faith Hagin is fairly new to the small town of Corinthia, Georgia, where she owns a coffee shop. Faith is looking forward to a visit from her teenage son (who lives with his father), and hopes they’ll be able to repair their broken relationship. Her failure at motherhood is something she keeps secret from the people of Corinthia, for fear no one will want to associate with her. Given the mistakes she’s made with her son, she repeatedly turns down requests that she help with the church youth group.
Chief of Police Gabe Reynolds is an over-protective father facing the fear of most fathers of young daughters: His little girl is growing up much too quickly. She wants a cell phone. She wants to wear make-up and go to boy-girl parties. Gabe wants to keep her from growing up for as long as possible.
Chelsea Reynolds is twelve going on twenty-four. When she has a difficult time getting her dad to loosen up and quit worrying so much, she pulls out all the stops and enlists Faith’s help in praying for Gabe to find a girlfriend. Unfortunately for Gabe, Chelsea makes the mistake of also asking for prayers from an elderly woman who has a fairly significant prayer network. Gabe is taken by surprise when he starts receiving dinner invitations from eligible women.
When Gabe asks Faith to help out with Chelsea, she’s reluctant to tell him how she failed as a mother. At the same time, she doesn’t want to see him make the same mistakes she did.
Finding himself attracted to Faith, Gabe his a difficult time letting go of the past. And as interested as he might be in pursuing a relationship with her, he has a hard time with the idea of someone else taking his late wife’s place.
A Family for Faith is adorable, funny, and extremely touching. I’ve said before that it’s rare for me to cry when I read a book. I can only think of three in recent years: Emily’s Chance by Sharon Gillenwater, Unspoken by Angela Hunt, and now this is one.
I was immediately caught up in Faith’s relationship with her son, but I also loved her growing relationship with Chelsea. Faith is a beautifully crafted character, and as a mother, I found it so easy to identify with her.
Chelsea is just plain lovable. Who couldn’t sympathize with a young girl eager to grow up, but desperately missing her mother at the same time?
As for Gabe… sigh… he is a sweet, gentle, wonderful, heart-melting hero. Missy created someone special when she dreamed up Gabe. He won’t be easily forgotten, and for him alone, this book is worth the read. If I were giving out a hero-of-the-year award, Gabe would certainly be my top contender.
As a fan of baseball, I loved Missy’s fun little baseball shout-out when Faith buys tickets to an Atlanta Braves vs. the San Francisco Giants game. She makes reference to her son’s favorite Giants player, without naming names. Hmmm… I wonder who that could be? If you know Missy, you’ll know exactly who that player is. If you don’t, and you’re curious, you can probably find your answers by reading her blog: http://lifewithmissy.blogspot.com/.
Suzie Johnson has won several awards for her inspirational novels (writing as Susan Diane Johnson), including the Maggie, Lone Star, Heart of the West, and Beacon awards, as well as finaling in the Touched by Love, Finally A Bride, Linda Howard Award for Excellence, and Virginia Fools For Love contests. She is a member of ACFW, RWA, and is a cancer registrar at her local hospital. The mother of a wonderful young man who makes her proud every day, she lives with her husband and little kitten on an island in the Pacific Northwest. And although the beaches are rocky instead of sandy, lined with Madronas and Evergreens instead of Palm trees, and the surf is much to cold for wading, it is still the perfect spot for writing romantic fiction. You can visit her blog, Suzie's Writing Place at http://suzieswritingplace.blogspot.com/.