This is a great read, although I will say it took a while for the narrative to snag my interests. I didn’t realize this was the third in a series or considered Christian fiction until my reading was well underway. For that I am grateful, because had I know either fact beforehand, it’s doubtful I would have picked it up. (I have nothing against those with faith and am myself a Christian, but Christian fiction as a genre has left a bad taste in my mouth thanks to some less-than-thrilling encounters I had in high school.)
Over the course of the novel, Whitney Monroe transforms from a myopic, self-centered woman hellbent on living outside the bounds of love and forgiveness to a caring, compassionate woman who thinks of others before herself. I include this in my review only to encourage current readers who are put off by our protagonist’s initial behavior, which is not very becoming. I enjoyed the contemporary story, but I must say that the historic narrative woven throughout TSKD was much more interesting, and during my reading I almost wished the novel had been written more about that story instead. However, looking back, I understood why Whitney had to be the one to tell the tale.
Ms. Wingate’s descriptions are really quite beautiful, and her prose is almost poetic at points. It is clear she is a seasoned writer who is confident in her abilities. I am definitely interested into finding out more about her work and reading some of the other works in her Carolina Heirlooms series.
The negative bits are both small and few. In places, the dialogue seemed a little wooden and unrealistic, and there was one historical inaccuracy that made me grit my teeth–there were only 48 states in the 1930s, not 50. That might not seem like a big deal, but it did pull me out of the story and, for a while, at least, question the accuracies of the other historical elements I was not as familiar with.
Overall, though, this book was well worth the time. Beautiful, important message with characters who almost jump off the page with the realness. If you, like me, usually shirk the genre and are looking for a quality read, look no further.