When I knew Loree was releasing this new gem, the story behind it, I knew it was one I had to read. First, I love this lady. Her penned creations are more than words placed together. She brings a story together like no other author I've had the privilege of reading. She writes heart, soul, and reality. She knows how to not only touch the heart, but as that last page has turned the reader comes to ponder a change of the heart.
She gives detail that intrigues and brings to life characters in which we immediately connect. She writes transparent stories with emotion that stirs the soul. With her novels, just as this one, I'm so excited to open the first page, but when the last closes I am left wishing I would have read a bit slower. They're those kind of novels you just don't want to end. I suppose reading her novels, especially this one is an experience. A journey for the reader, sometimes to travel to another time and place, but with this novel, it's a place we would rather not enter. But leave it to Loree to bring peace where fear is real, beauty where ugly is a tragic reality. She allows the reader to journey through an experience that brings grace, humility, and mercy. I was left with a hope that 'if that was me' I hope I do it that way.
This is a bit of a different kind of love story. Love covers these pages, but it is a friendship that goes beyond what Hollywood would give. It's love of friendship. The unconditional kind. The kind that our Savior gives.
Here in this novel Loree writes so gentle and pure. There is a beauty within these pages like no other novel she has yet to pen. The conversations between the characters are transparent in such a way we can only imagine if it were us there in the circumstance of fifty hours. Each of the characters have traits where the reader can easily find themselves. To remember we all have a story, to live in such a way that we are not just taking from this world, but leaving a legacy, yeah, that's what Loree portrays here in these words come to life.
We meet a handful of characters. All facing life altering circumstances. Some are brought about by choice. Like the character, Franco Allessi. He starts out being somewhat hard. His choices have brought him in front of a judge who has to make the decision to bring Franco to a place where he can see that there is so much more to life than the sadness he has been living. He must do fifty hours of community service.
Aubrey Brewer, oh, she is a woman of beauty and grace. She has known how to live. How to enjoy life to the fullest. But now everything has changed for her. How will she live out the ending? Yeah, that's the beauty of this masterpiece of black and white. We see how to live, how to appreciate, and how to place others before ourselves, all when we know our time is not the years we dreamed it would be.
There is a young fella who is rooming next door to Aubrey. He's a smart-mouth, feeling pretty angry, and is about to explode with emotion he isn't sure as how to release. He doesn't want to be treated a baby, but I think to crawl up close to his parents is exactly what he would love. He and Aubrey have a special kind of relationship and through their time together we get a glimpse of what beauty looks like when we decide to let go and simply live out the moment of right now.
So, fifty hours. For one it is a judgement of service. Franco starts out counting down the hours he has left. By the end of his time he's wishing for more. Aubrey knows she doesn't have much time left, but she has made the decision to live it, to push the boundaries and experience something that could have never come about in any other way.
All of these characters are brought to life in a special way. It was a treasure getting to know them. Although I loved all the characters in this novel there is one who surprised me. Aubrey's mother. Oh, she's hard woman. One that everyone would rather avoid. Beyond that rough exterior, is a mother who is fearing saying goodbye to her only daughter. She's trying to figure out how to do it all and all she wants to do is protect her precious girl. I love how their relationship grew and toward the end of the novel her mother was gifted to see her daughter in an unexpected way.
So, yes, this is anther gem penned by one of the great storytellers. Loree never ceases to bless my heart, but this one was something really special. It just may be my favorite so far. I cannot wait to see what this beautiful lady pens next. 💜
This novel is published by Rising Phoenix Press.
Loree Lough best-seslling author Loree Lough once sang for her supper, performing across the US and Canada. Now and then she blows the dust off her six-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and "Readers' Choice" awards, four-and five-star reviews, and five book-to-movie options. At last count, Loree had 115 award-winning books on the shelves (nearly 7,000,000 copies in print).
Loree enjoyes sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic how-to approach makes her a favorite speaker at writers' organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, and college and high school writing programs in the US and abroad. She and her husband live near Baltimore and spend as much time as possible at their cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where Loree continues to hone her "identify the critter tracks" skills.
A writer who believes in giving back, Loree dedicates a generous portion of her income to favorite charities. (See "Giving Back" at http://www.loreelough.com.) An active participant on most social media sites, Loree loves hearing from her readers, and answers every letter personally. Be sure to stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!