Title: Love's Providence
Author: Jennifer H. Westall
Published: May 24th 2012 by Self Published
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Shelf: Review Copy
Shelf: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Collegiate athlete Lily Brennon has always been the piece that doesn’t quite fit in the puzzle, especially in her fragmented family, and no amount of rule-following perfection seems to bring her any closer to the love and acceptance she desperately seeks. If not for Jackson Carter, her childhood best friend and the only boy she’s ever loved, she’s sure she would have run away years ago. But when Jackson loses his father and a future basketball career within months of each other, his faith is so shattered, he shuts out everyone, including Lily.
After months of heartache, Lily begins to piece together a life without Jackson, and while vacationing on a beautiful island off the Georgia coast, she begins a long-distance romance with Alex Walker, a police officer with a quick wit and a cocky grin. He revives her hope in love again, but their intense attraction and his devastating secret test Lily’s values, stretching them until they break. Through her struggles to remain true to her principles, an agonizing choice between Alex and Jackson, and a series of terrifying events that threaten all of them, Lily must endure losing everything she’s been grasping so tightly. Only then will she discover the depth of the love that already surrounds her.
Once I was finished reading this very well written book I felt at peace. Love’s Providence is an intriguing novel full of some of the most tragic events imaginable, but they are all realistic things that could happen in a regular individual’s day. No one is supernatural, no one is a super hero, and everyone is overwhelmingly human in every thought, feeling, and action. All in all, the overarching religious experience found within the pages brings you back to yourself and helps you re-center yourself. It is not overwhelming, preaching Christian ideals at the reader, but at the same time, it is definitely a firm presence that leads the main characters through their day to day lives following those ideals.
Throughout the novel the main character is battling the loss of her first love and trying to rebuild her life while maintaining a relationship with said first love. She attempts to balance her Christian beliefs with today’s prevalent views on sex and relationships. She also has to come to terms with her actions when she does go against her long-held belief system. By bringing the topic of sexual encounters to the forefront of the story it stands out from the typical YA religious romance novel. But it does so in a way that lets you see the connection between the character’s actions and her beliefs. The addition of the suspenseful mystery aspect of the novel takes you on a journey that you generally would not expect from this type of novel.
Overall, the hope and faith found in this novel is enough to rejuvenate even the most jaded of readers while keeping them captivated by the constant twists and turns in the story. It also helps to reconcile the many tragedies that can be faced in everyday life with a God who loves those on Earth.
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