Thursday, January 06, 2011

Deb Raney's Almost Forever ~ Reviewed

Almost Forever (Hanover Falls Series #1) [Paperback]
Deb Raney
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; Original edition (May 11, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416599916


Unearthing a lost memory may cause her to lose everything she holds dear. but could it also set her free?

Volunteer Bryn Hennesey was there at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter the night five heroic firefighters died at the scene. Among them was her husband, Adam.

Now a terrifying absence of memory has her wondering if she might, in some way, be responsible. Garrett Edmonds' wife, Molly, was the only female firefighter to perish in the blaze. He was supposed to protect the woman he she's the one who's died a hero. How can he go on in the face of such unbearable loss? And what started the fire that destroyed the dreams and futures of so many? Investigators are stumped. But someone knows the answer..


In this thought provoking and evocative novel, Deborah Raney displays her innate talent for authentic storytelling and in depth characterization. Exploring themes of loss, grief, rage and guilt, Almost Forever is a gripping read that takes you on an emotional journey as the characters react to a community tragedy. Deborah does not shy away from the harsh realities of people altered by grief or unforgiveness and the impact it has on how they view God or the person they feel is responsible for their suffering. As in her previous books, Deborah allows her characters to explore life when it is untenable and when a small choice can lead to a devastating result. Yet it is Almost Forever's underlying message of hope and healing that culminates in a satisfying and refreshing ending. I am eagerly awaiting Lucas' story in the the next Hanover Falls novel, Forever After.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Bonus Review:

Almost Forever revolves around Bryn Hennesy, the wife of a firefighter. Working as a volunteer at a homeless shelter one evening, a fire breaks out, which results in the total destruction of the shelter, as well as taking the lives of five firefighters, four men and one woman. Bryn ends up befriending Garrett Edmonds, the husband of the female fire fighter that was killed. Their relationship begins to grow, as they are able to find comfort and understanding with each other. However, throughout the course of the story, Bryn can’t seem to shake the horrible thought that she was somehow responsible for the fire.

This was a really engaging book from the beginning. I enjoyed how, throughout the story, the characters began showing more of a reliance on God, showing Him trust that they had never really shown Him before. I liked how the book showed about forgiveness on the human side, reminding us that no one is perfect. My only wish is that the author would have presented a clearer gospel message in the story. I understood where she was coming from, but I’m not sure that an unbeliever reading the story would be able to understand fully what Christ has done for them in dying for their sins. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it!

Reviewed by Sarah Porter

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