ISLE OF HOPE
She stole his heart.
He stole her peace.
Can hope steal their pain?
At the age of eighteen, Lacey Carmichael was a wild girl bent on fun, promised to Jack O`Bryen, a straight-and-narrow pastor’s kid bent on the seminary. When her father kicks her out of the house, she runs away from Isle of Hope, turning her back on everything she loves. Now, eight years later, she’s back as a woman of faith, hoping to make amends to the father she defied, the boyfriend she deserted, and the best friend she denied. Only the bridges she’s burned are still smoldering, kindled by an adulterous affair by Jack’s pastor father that damaged his son’s faith. But can a turning of tables—and hearts—lead the way back to “hope” for them all?
Necessary supplies to gather before reading this book:
Chocolate (to revive you from a swoon)
Standby Kleenex (in case you use up all the above mentioned boxes -- and you likely will)
I read Isle of Hope : Unfailing Love with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes and half the time I didn`t know whether to laugh or cry so I did both. Copiously. Yes, my emotions were fully engaged and I was a blubbering mess through most of the book. And that`s because this story is real in that raw, gritty, all too life-like way that this author is famous for.
Two memorable families and a host of unforgettable characters have taken up permanent residence in my heart. I`m bereft now that it`s over and I`ve had to say goodbye to the O`Bryens and the Carmichaels.
God bless Julie Lessman for weaving faith into the very fibre of this story. Intense dialogue that proclaims the truth without seeming stilted or forced bears testimony to the miracle of forgiveness and God`s saving grace. The author doesn`t preach the gospel, she lives it through the lives of her characters. Flaws and all.
And speaking of flaws, the hero has plenty. I`ll admit to having a hard time liking him at the beginning of the book. Sulky, sarcastic, moody, angry. He lets Lacey have it at every turn. But she`s buoyed by her new found faith and bears his jibes rather well. After all, he`s one of the people she`s come home to make amends with.
And here`s where I got my wake-up call. A life lesson I will never forget. I found it easy to like Lacey despite her past because, well, it was her past. She`s chosen a new life in Christ and she shows remarkable courage in facing the people she has wronged. She`s doing the right thing and it was easy to apply forgiveness to this heroine. But Jack -- well, he really got my ire up. I became impatient and frustrated with him. I wanted to reach through the computer and slap some sense into him until I realized that the author was figuratively slapping some sense into me. Because it`s much easier to forgive a repentant sinner than one still mired in his gnarly mess. But isn`t the latter individual the one who needs my forgiveness even more? And who I am to deny him empathy or pass judgment for that matter? Talk about a sucker punch of spirituality.
Lessman has created a masterful tale of love and redemption. There`s plenty of drama, enough romantical scenes to require the aforementioned fainting couch and plenty of jaw-dropping twists guaranteed to keep a reader up late at night. Add in the author`s eloquent turn of phrase (I`m partial to `bullheaded baboon` myself) and, well, all I can say is clear your calendar and be prepared for an emotional ride of a lifetime.
Available in ebook format only
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Isle of Hope please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday November 8 2015. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!