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Friday, February 6, 2009

Journey to Forgiveness by Laurean Brooks

Journey to Forgiveness by Laurean Brooks
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical; Inspirational
Length: Full (150+ pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Ivy

When Jenny Hinson's abusive father deserts the family, the responsibility of the family's Tennessee farm falls to Jenny and her mother. Four years later, in 1938, boll weevils infest the cotton crop, plunging the Hinsons into dire financial straits and Jenny takes the train north to find work. Electricity has yet to reach rural Chicory Valley. But, not only is the young woman introduced to it in its tapped form in Chicago, but also encounters a few jolts along the way when she challenges the infuriating Austin Grant over a luggage mishap. Sparks fly outside the Kankakee train station when Jenny discovers her missing vanity case under Austin's arm. She immediately labels him a thief. And after Austin coaxes money from her aunt's congregation, Jenny determines to find enough evidence to expose him and his nefarious deeds. Why did Austin pull money from the mission strong box and stuff a sizable roll into his pocket? Wasn't this just the proof Jenny needed? Then why was she reluctant to report the theft? And why did her heart race at every encounter with the notorious Austin? Jenny's personal convictions would never allow a relationship where trust was blatantly missing. Can Jenny muster enough courage to ask Austin the tough questions that will ultimately make or break their relationship? Can she forgive her father's brutality? Find out as you follow Jenny's struggles in Journey To Forgiveness.

When Jenny Hinson leaves her home in Tennessee to live with her aunt in Chicago, she never dreams the thief who tries to steal her luggage is a man she could love. Damaged by an abusive father and humbled by her upbringing, Jenny is delighted to reunite with her Aunt Violet in the big city. A job brings in money she can send home to her mother, but her new church family includes Austin Grant. Since she caught him with her luggage, she’s sure the impossible do-gooder is running a scam, and sets out to reveal his true colors.

Journey to Forgiveness is a Christian inspirational about choosing forgiveness. It moves one to ponder through passages of prayer and supplication. Thought the tone is sweet, the issues at hand are dark and real. Ms. Brooks writes with sincerity; her historical portrait of late 1930’s Chicago and the era’s fashion is well done.

Jenny does everything she can not to fall in love, but as Austin over and over again reaches out to others, she finds in herself the strength to let go. It will take everything she’s learned, and Austin Grant, to help her forgive the man who damaged her so thoroughly.

Reading Journey to Forgiveness with its multiple points of view can make for some distracting editorial issues. Although the trauma of abuse is well-balanced with growth, some of the poignancy gets lost in translation. The story itself however, along with the setting, is a refreshing look back to simpler times when the world seemed more black and white. You will be touched.