by Judy Duarte
Reviewed by Donna Maloy
Judy Duarte’s sequel to the outstanding Mulberry Park, is a heartwarming and inspiring story about never giving up on dreams. It’s also a cautionary tale about the power of guilt in shaping our lives.
Kristy Smith was on her way to a college and a bright future when she became pregnant and – in her own eyes, at least – ruined her grandmother’s life. Craig Houston, who once dreamed of a major league baseball career, became a pastor for all the wrong reasons and now doubts he can make a difference in the little town of Fairbrook. Shana is getting married to the perfect boy, except he’s not the one she’s always dreamed about. And Renee, who just wants the best for her unborn child, has no money, no job, and no future. But it’s a known fact that the future unfolds in mysterious ways. Aided by cryptic messages of hope from a transient named Jesse, Kristy and Craig fall in love, Shana finds the courage to be herself, and Renee becomes the daughter she always wanted to be. And incidentally, Craig finds a way to make a difference in baseball, Kristy finds a way to go back to school, Shana re-connects with her former sweetheart, and a childless couple finds the perfect ready-made family.
Duarte weaves all these stories together seamlessly. In a suspense novel, the tension often escalates to a crescendo of violence. In a Duarte novel, you can count on love and kindness escalating to a crescendo of hope fulfilled.
Read Entertaining Angels. Believe in small miracles again.