"Ya think?" is author Avery Elkins Thompson's sarcastic response. She can’t pull out from the malaise that set in following her husband's untimely death, and her adult children fear they are losing her too.
She can't write, and questions about their father's death leave the family mired in pain. "We need a healing place," her oldest son tells her, suggesting she find it on Anna Maria Island, Florida, a former family vacation spot.
When Avery returns to Baltimore to sell the family's waterfront condo, she meets rodeo-ers-turned-real-estate-brokers Teddie and Rider Davis, and Avery's quiet life will never be the same again. The Davises help arrange a short-term house swap with widower Gabriel Carson from Anna Maria, whose overprotective parenting has resulted in two self-centered, twenty-something daughters. Avery and Gabriel are in for the summer of their lives as they step into one another's messy, complicated worlds.
Still, venturing out on her own again is challenging for Avery, whose experiences at the Ringling's magnificent Ca d'Zan mansion, and with the quirky characters she meets there, eventually awaken her to truths she desperately needs to remember—that God has not forgotten her, and as crazy as life can be, it is possible to laugh and love again.
This book caught my interest initially because the main character in this book is of a more mature age. Her children are adults and she is well into her life and career. It felt like a good change up in reading for me.
Avery is a likeable person, a bit lost and still reeling after the death of her husband, but still moving. Her children are a good addition to the story and a believable motivating factor in her desire to pull herself together and make those initial moves to change things.
This story felt like a real life soap opera of sorts. There were a LOT of characters, each with their own challenges, intertwining into one story. I sometimes felt overwhelmed with all the characters and found myself wishing I could just concentrate on feeling with a few of them verses looking in from the outside because I didn't have time to settle in fully with any of them. Avery was the prominent character and the center of all the characters moving around her. Her personal journey was gratifying to follow as she emerges from the depths of hurt and frustration to be joyful and fulfilled again.
Content: kissing, heavy Christian elements
- I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.