A Path Toward Love
Cara Lynn James
Thomas Nelson, 2012
Readers, I have learned something about myself. I would have totally been okay with spending my summers in the Adirondacks, wearing more-relaxed-but-still-beautiful dresses and spending my days enjoying the fresh air and country solitude (with all the comforts of home). Shoot, I'd *still* be okay summering in the Adirondacks, and it's my goal - one day - to find a pretty lodge and have a vacation. But I digress ... I love reading about the socialites and their rustic summers. Parties, expansive lodges, private piers. Yeah, that's my kind of rustic all right. But it's not just the atmosphere - I love reading about the people. Not just the glamour, but getting a peek inside the characters. A Path Toward Love gave me a wonderful look inside the hearts and minds of the members of this tantalizing and fascinating segment of historical society.
Katherine Osborne married young, against her parents' wishes, and has been paying the price for the last eight years. When her father arrives at her orange plantation in Florida (inherited upon her husband's untimely death), with longtime best friend Andrew in tow, Katherine knows things are fixing to change. Convinced to return and spend the summer at her family's lodge in the Adirondacks, Katherine finds surprising strength and comfort in being reunited with Andrew. He helps her sift through the baggage of her past and the surprising revelations and events still unfolding, showing her that God's Hand is on all things and He is willing to speak to His children's hearts and lives. Katherine's mother on the other hand is less willing to let God speak and is quick to point out the new plans she's made for Katherine's life, since her past decisions indicate the girl is clearly unable to make wise choices on her own.
Through a summer of struggling to find herself again, let alone figure out where her future is leading her, Katherine grows as a woman and as a Christian. Katherine finds herself torn between the leaning of her heart and the socially accepted norms she's always known. And the mom-guilt complicates her own confused sorting out of life. Her journey is realistic, and doesn't feel forced, and the supporting characters add much color and depth to the story itself. There's enough historical and social context to build the elite (but rustic!) world of summering in the Adirondacks, but not so much that the setting becomes the story. The characters - particularly Andrew and Katherine - are allowed to shine. And shine they do.
Book provided by publisher for review.