“Annie Warren always wanted the best for her son, Josh. But years of failure and bad choices created a heartbreaking distance that has grown far worse since the day Josh was hit by a drunk driver. Now on medical disability, Josh has put his life on hold for years, waiting for the insurance company to send a settlement that never seems to come. Worse, he believes the story of a scheming woman who claims they have a seven-year-old daughter named Savannah.
Despite the unlikelihood and complete lack of evidence, Josh dreams of being a father and is determined to one day claim the child. His family doesn’t know the full story. They don’t know what happened the night of the accident that was worth the chronic pain Josh suffers every waking minute, or that he is turning his life around. They haven’t seen that Savannah’s eyes are his, and they don’t know how desperately the little girl needs her family.
When the settlement that rightly belongs to Josh is threatened, Annie sets out to defend her son. But she might find a treasure more valuable than money, one she never expected, one that is the greatest gift her son could ever give her — THIS SIDE OF HEAVEN.”
Karen Kingsbury never fails to pull me into her stories, and make me bawl like a baby! This book was no different. There were twists that I hadn’t seen coming at all, and others that I did see from a mile away — but still were done so well that I liked reading to see that I was right. I didn’t know how they’d come about, anyway, so it was good to read through and find out. 😉
The story of little Savannah really tugged at my heart strings, too. In some ways, her story is very similar to something in my own life. I have a little niece who I only saw once when she was first born, and I haven’t seen her since. I miss her terribly, and know she really should have her daddy in her life. And, her daddy wants more than anything to be there… but he’s not allowed. It breaks my heart. And this story just amplified that, even though I know my niece’s living conditions are far better than Savannah’s were, and her mom is much sweeter and nicer than Maria (praise the Lord for that!)
Anyway. The thing that really spoke to me about this book was its message that we need to slow down enough, in life, to really care about the details of the lives of those around us… we need to pay more attention, ’cause who knows what we’re missing, and what we might not find out if we don’t take the time.
Also loud and clear (at least to me) was the message that we can be ‘healed’ by taking the focus off of ourselves, and serving others. There are people, right next door, who need us, if only we’d take the time to notice.
Great story. Not too ‘preachy‘, either. Highly recommended.