It’s been five years since the accident that altered the course of Kenna Rowan’s life. She’s returned to the town where it happened, hoping to see the daughter she gave birth to while in prison but was never allowed to even see. Kenna’s not looking for redemption, just a chance to see the daughter she named Diem (think carpe diem). She has just enough money to rent a meager space and walks the street where she and Scotty once did together. When she reaches the bookstore that’s now a bar, she wanders in and gets the attention of the bartender. They’re both inexplicably drawn to each other and get pretty far before she realizes he’s Ledger Ward, Scotty’s best friend who she’d never met.
There’s so much heartbreak in this story, along with sympathy and understanding for all sides. Kenna literally has no one and a bleak outlook. Hopes of just seeing her daughter is her anchor until she meets Ledger who also has a close relationship with Diem, being raised by Scotty’s parents. She was responsible for the accident that killed their son and there were other circumstances that made it even more egregious. They want nothing to do with Kenna, nor are they willing to let Diem meet her. The situation broke my heart for everyone involved and any path to forgiveness just seemed impossible. In the middle of it all is Ledger whose growing feelings for Kenna complicate everything, especially as he’s given her a job at his bar and is keeping all that secret from Scotty’s parents.
It’s an excellent story of redemption and forgiveness, the toll it takes to hold that back even when you feel justified. I’ve heard it stated by those who have forgiven the people responsible for having harmed them that it was the only way they could move forward. It is illustrated graphically and impactfully here as I experienced the emotional toll it took for Scotty’s parents to hold onto their anger. At risk was little Diem who might never know she has a mother who loves her. There were times this story threatened to sink me because of all this despair but the hope provided by Ledger had me power on. It was an uneasy journey and I loved the performances by the two narrators, especially Pressley, the voice for Kenna. She made me feel every emotional high and low deeply. I always choose to listen to books by this author because it heightens the reading experience. This was no exception. I loved everything about this story.
- Release Date: January 18, 2022
- Narrators: Brittany Pressley & Ryan West
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 17 minutes
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
(Thanks to Brilliance Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)