Friday, June 1, 2012

After All by Deborah Raney - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from the publisher)
Eighteen months after the tragic Grove Street Fire took the life of her husband, David, and four other heroic firefighters, Susan Marlowe thinks she’s finally beginning to heal.

But then she discovers that David carried a secret to his grave.

A secret that changes everything she thought their marriage had been.

For the sake of their sons, can Susan forgive the unforgivable? Andrea Morley lost her closest friend in the fire. But she has no right to mourn him. Instead, she must forever grieve in silence—because her dearest friend was someone else’s husband. Peter Brennan carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. As Hanover Falls’ fire chief, he was responsible for the brave firefighters who lost their lives that awful November night.

Can he ever shake the feeling that he should have somehow prevented the tragedy? As he tries to rebuild the team at Clemens County’s Station 2, it seems he might find comfort in the arms of the woman he least expected.

My Thoughts:
Susan hadn’t just lived her life in a safe harbor, but instead she’d let the winds of God’s Spirit blow her where He wanted to take her.” (p 339)

Like Pete Brennan, I too would like to live a life that allows God’s Spirit to take me in the direction that He wants to lead me. Susan made her share of mistakes, but the road that she is asked to walk in the pages of this novel, is not easy nor is it pleasant. She is still reeling from the tragic death of her husband and then she is threatened as she learns a very devastating truth about the life she thought she had lived as a hero’s widow. Once again, life is turned upside down and backwards, only truth will set Susan and the people of Hanover Falls free from more tragedy.

Deborah Raney knows how to create characters that are so real, so flawed, so fiercely loyal that you become totally engrossed in the story from the very first page. Raney doesn’t shy away from raw emotion and difficult circumstances. Rather, she weaved them into a beautiful tapestry of story that just takes your breath away. I know this is the last book in this trilogy, but I wish I didn’t have to say goodbye to the people of Hanover Falls. I know them. I have laughed, cried, raged and mourned with them. They represent every person on the planet in the reality of their need for God’s mercy, grace and guidance. This series is a shining testament of the transforming power of faith in a person’s life. Oh, what a story! Not a neat package of tidy solutions, but real life in all of its tragic, tender glory.

I cannot recommend this series highly enough!!

About the Author:

 Deborah Raney's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, was awarded a
Silver Angel from Excellence in Media and inspired the acclaimed World Wide
Pictures film of the same title. Since then her books have won the RITA Award,
the HOLT Medallion, and the National Readers' Choice Award; Raney was also a finalist for the Christy Award. She and her husband, artist Ken Raney, make
their home in their native Kansas.

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