In the wake of her husband's presumed death, a young war bride makes a desperate choice to give her baby a better life. However, her choice will have unforeseen ramifications for more lives than she ever expected. The baby girl, named Kyle by her adoptive parents, grows up with no knowledge of her humble beginnings. When a heartbreaking loss pits Kyle against her high society mother, secrets from Kyle's past come to light. Suddenly, she finds herself searching for the family she never knew and a faith she's only beginning to understand. With all that has come before, will Kyle ever be able to find home?
Oke describes with eloquence the hollowness of a life lived without a belief in Jesus. Her characters resonate with depth of spirit or with the futility of a life lived without that underpinning. Her descriptions of Martha, Harry and Joel, of Kyle, of Kyle's mother, of Kenneth - are very recognizable to me. Actually, this little book helped me to think through some important issues.
It's been over twenty years since the first time I read this book. My return to it was purely for comfort reading, and even with the way that I and my preferences for Christian Fiction have changed over the years, sheer comfort is what I got from reading this a second time.
It's a gentle drama, somber and grave in different ways but also infused with nostalgic Americana and, ultimately, hope.
I wouldn't call the novel perfect, as some aspects are a little overdone, oversweet, or redundant. Some of the characters could have used more dimension, especially the key villain. Also, the story may tell about the heroine without showing enough about her, as she largely seems to be a rather passive part of the story until the last fifth or quarter.
Even so, books don't have to be perfect to give me a meaningful experience, and there are reasons why this serious, warm, and life-affirming novel has remained in my memory. Though it's unlikely that I'll revisit the sequel, I'm so glad to have read this one again.