When you open up a book penned by Julie Lessman get ready, my friend, because you are going on a journey. This story is so much more than what the back cover describes. I was prepared to read a love story about Annie Kennedy and Steven O'Connor. Wow, did Julie blow me away! I got more than a love story. She has a the gift of introducing many characters into the story. These characters just flowed around Annie and Steven and for that, it made their characters that much more interesting.
I was captivated by the pages before me. Annie and Steven couldn't be more different, but throughout the story we see that they share a heart like Christ. We see them both grow into who the Lord has created them to be. The most interesting aspect is just how their lives impacted all those around them.
As I read I understood more and more why Steven was so protective of Annie. She was pure and perfection in his eyes and he knew the kind of man he was at one time. Through their relationship I could see my relationship with the Lord and just how protective He is of me. Annie surrendered her love. Not because she didn't love, but for reasons much greater than herself. Steven was an ever changing character.
It's as if Annie is almost trying to find herself through her sister, Maggie. She hasn't realized just how special she is just the way she is. Steven is there to remind her how precious she is. I just love how their love story begins and where the Lord takes it. Everything in His perfect timing.
There is so much emotion in this story. Julie takes us to the heart of each character and shows us the impact each character has on the other.
We see how the circumstances of our choices leaves behind a trail of scars. Some of them we don't even notice for years. They are heart deep and they have a way of changing who we are inside. For instance, we see how Annie's sister, Maggie, impacted Annie's life without even knowing it. Each decision we make touches everyone around us in some way or another, good or bad.
We see throughout this novel how we must surrender over and over again. Not only love, but humility, and self, for a greater good.
This is a story that for us begins in May 1932. But a story of surrender that began long before. As you open the novel we are lead to the verse from Psalm 23:1-3, which is so fitting for this story of love. Something that I love that I will let you uncover for yourself, is the beautiful dedication from Julie. I tell you, in reading this, my heart melted.
This is a story that holds so much. The characters are lively and so believable. The story is rich and unfolds chapter by chapter and leaves you guessing as what is happening next. This is book 3 of The Winds of Change series and I must tell you, I loved the first two books, but this one, this gem, is my favorite! This is a story you don't want to miss!
This book was a gift from Revell for its review.
Julie Lessman is an award-winning author whose tagline of "Passion with a Purpose" underscores her intense passion for both God and romance. Winner of the 2009 ACFW Debut Author of the Year and Holt Medallion Awards of Merit for Best First Book and Long Inspirational, Julie is also the recipient of 14 Romance Writers of America awards and was voted by readers as "Borders Best of 2009 So Far: Your Favorite Fiction." Chosen as the #1 Romance Fiction Author of the Year in the Family Fiction magazine 2011 Readers' Choice Awards, Julie was also awarded #1 Series of the Year in that same poll and #3 Author of the Year, #5 Novel of the Year, and #4 Historical Fiction Author of the year. She resides in Missouri with her family and is the author of The Daughters of Boston series and the Winds of Change series whose first book, A Hope Undaunted, ranked #5 on Booklist's Top 10 Inspirational Fiction for 2010. You can contact Julie through her website at www.julielessman.com.