by Laura Bradford is a heartfelt tale where readers will be
thankful that the tissue shortage has ended. It is a story
of losing loved ones unexpectedly. It is about loss, grief,
anger, survivor's guilt, but also how good memories can help
someone learn to cope.
heard this quote, ‘friends are Angels that lift us to
our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.’
In some moments, grief is so powerful it makes someone wonder
if they can keep going. They question if they can put one
foot in front of the other. She feels so overwhelmed. Her
Amish friends came to help her stand up so she could take
steps to heal on her own. Lydia and her family showed Dani
it was OK to slow her life down. Both Dani and Lydia second
guessed themselves as moms. All the characters had their own
form of grief. Sometimes people need someone to reach out
a hand whether it is physical or a metaphor to give those
grieving something to hang on to before that person can climb
on their own.”
The story opens with a suburban stay-at-home-mom, Dani Parker,
taking her mother's suggestion by having a "me time"
day. Her mom goes on an outing with Dani's husband and three
children. But the unthinkable happens, a car crash that leaves
no survivors. She spirals deeper and deeper into survivor's
grief, wishing the accident claimed her life as well. She
feels guilty and depressed about being alive.
Not knowing how she will get through the next day, Dani accepts
her childhood friend's offer to come stay in a cottage her
family owns. Bradford skillfully shows how friendship is an
important tool in healing. Lydia, her Amish friend, delivered
food to Dani and was there to listen and also give Dani some
space to mourn. Lydia's kindness, understanding, and humor
give Dani the support she needs, especially after Dani discovers
that Lydia is going through her own set of guilt, grief, and
questions, along with the rest of Lydia's family including
her brother and three-year-old daughter Nettie.
wanted to show how everyone had some form of grief. After
her family dies, Dani questions whether she was the perfect
mom, and beat herself up over it. Being Amish, Lydia believes
that everything happens according to "God's will."
She was a calming hand for Dani. It is interesting how Dani
can comfort Lydia's child and brother through grief, but cannot
seem to do it for herself. She also thinks it is ridiculous
that Lydia blames herself even though Dani cannot give herself
the pass she gives Lydia. Her brother, Caleb, also felt helpless
at times to watch those he cared about go through their own
sadness. I knew he was not going to be a romantic person for
Dani because it was way too soon, and there is no way I wanted
to go in that direction. Then there was the three-year-old
Nettie, who had the innocence of childhood. She was also a
good reminder to Dani of her own children. There was a scene
in the barn when Dani was alone with Nettie. Her motherly
protective instinct took over by giving Nettie hope. Yet,
she was unable to turn around that hope for herself."
This story has wonderful characters, and readers will take
a journey with all of them, going through the same emotions.
People will have tears in their eyes throughout the novel.
This is definitely another winner by Bradford.