Friday, January 5, 2024

THE YEAR OF GOODBYES AND HELLOS by Kelly Irvin, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

What a heartrending story encompassing the hard subjects of a cancer diagnosis, divorce, estrangement, and spiritual questioning.

The characters and situations came across as very realistic. I applaud the author for using her own cancer experience to enlighten her audience. She truly has made lemonade out of lemons.

Forgiveness is a big theme as was getting your priorities straight, living in the moment and actively loving your family. It was told in several voices. Kristen was an oncologist who wholeheartedly gave to her patients. But she learned that she could not do enough when the patient was her sister, Sherri. The story showed how cancer affects the whole extended family, not just the person with the diagnosis.

Recommended for fans of women’s fiction.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
In a novel inspired by the author's own cancer experience, two sisters seek a new balance in work, family, and love when one receives a diagnosis that sets the clock ticking.

Determined to save Sherri's life, Kristen drops everything to guide her sister on the harrowing cancer treatment journey. When she's unable to balance the strain of caring for her patients, being a wife and mother, and her frantic efforts to save her sister, Kristen's carefully balanced life crumbles, starting with her marriage. Desperate to regain her footing, she vows to rebuild her broken relationships . . . as soon as she's sure Sherri will beat the odds stacked against her.

Unlike her sister, Sherri Reynolds has worked to cultivate balance in her life. Her children, her job as a teacher, and her strong faith keep her grounded--until her diagnosis sends her spiraling into the scary world of what-ifs and unknown outcomes. Sherri faces the agonizing realization that family history may be about to repeat itself. With the clock ticking, she's determined to use whatever time she has left to heal old wounds and restore relationships.

The Year of Goodbyes and Hellos is a novel that will have readers reaching for the tissue box again and again as the author uses her own experience of living with ovarian cancer for seven years (and counting) to provide first-hand knowledge of sitting in the chair when the diagnosis is first delivered and the repercussions that follow.

Poignant contemporary Christian fiction
Stand-alone novel
Book length: 113,000 words
Includes discussion questions for book clubs

Thomas Nelson, December, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding, and audiobook: 

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