Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
Book Description: (from website)
When Dr. Joy Gilbert is fired by a grieving boss who wants more from her than she’s willing to give, she returns to her tiny hometown of Juliet, MO to find her ex-fiance still single, her once-strong and independent mother struggling in every way. Before she can make a move, however, the back door of her car bursts open and Tressa, her former employer’s fifteen-year-old daughter, clambers out, refusing to return home to either of her divorced, embittered parents.
Zack Tyler, director of Juliet Hospital’s ER, is stunned to see the woman he still loves has returned to town, apparently unbroken by the rejection of her former employer. That same employer, Weston Cline, told Zack last year that Joy wanted to spread her wings and take the job Weston offered her in a suburb of Kansas City. Zack would have expected to see her heartbroken, in tears, but all she’s worried about is her mother’s health and Tressa’s rebellion. To help her financially, Zack hires her to work in the ER, but the minute he does that, he knows he’s in for another wild ride of the heart.
When Tressa first begins having blackouts, she’s relieved that they take place when she’s alone. If she’s not careful, she’s afraid Joy will feel the need to tell her parents, who will insist she return home. But more and more often, the blackouts hit, and she’s in grave danger before Joy and Zack can discover what is causing them, and what caused the deaths of her brother, her father’s baby brother, a great grandfather…how many unexplained deaths will her family have to endure?
The description really gives a nice overview. This book is less mystery than Hannah Alexander’s other ones, and instead involves more of a medical mystery, than the fight against a human intruder. I enjoyed the intertwining of the story lines with her mother, Weston Kline, and Tressa’s health mystery. There were a lot of details left to the imagination or just seemed a little different. I found it slightly odd that Joy’s mother would share very private family history with a 15 year old, and not with her adult daughter. However, it worked well for the storyline. The romance is light, but there is more adult topics covered, rape, hints of molestation, child abuse, drunkenness, and seduction, which make this subject matter a bit inappropriate for teens. There is also a focus on weight throughout the book, which could be triggering for someone with an eating disorder.
I enjoyed the medical part of it, which this author always does an amazing job with weaving throughout the story. It is not your typical Christian fiction novel. The characters are highly flawed, they all have intricate stories and even the “villain” you feel for. I really enjoyed it and found it refreshing to read a book with unique qualities, which is unusual to find now.