Title: Wildflowers from Winter
Author: Katie Ganshert
2012, Waterbrook Press
Genre: Contemporary Christian
Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.
A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park. An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.
Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.
Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.
For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?
Bethany is running from Peaks, Iowa and from the God who was introduced to her there. She has become a successful architect in Chicago and wants nothing to do with her hometown or most of the people there - especially her mother and the local Pastor Fenton.
Circumstances require her return though. She hopes to return for only a few days, but God has other plans. She ends up inheirting a farm and her carefully orchestrated life starts to unravel. How can she spend time in this place without becoming re-attached to it or the people who live there?
I LOVED this book - I almost read the whole thing in one sitting actually. The characters are realistic and believable. They have real struggles and emotions. Nothing comes easily or without struggle. I loved the exchanges between Bethany and Evan as they were drawn to one another, yet trying not to be. I also enjoyed Bethany's journey to change her perception of a God she does not trust. I felt this book was a wonderful example of how far God will go to bring someone back to him and show them His love.
I found that I kind of appreciated that not all loose ends were tied up neatly at the end (like real life). The relationship between Bethany and her mother was not really fixed, nor was everything completely resolved with Pastor Fenton by the end.
I am looking forward to the continuing story of Bethany's best friend Robin in the next book!
Disclaimer: I received this book free for my honest review from Waterbrook Press. All opinions are my own.
Read the First Chapter of Wildflowers from Winter!