Almost Forever by Deborah Raney:  Book Review by Loraine Nunley

Synopsis from the back of the book:

Bryn Hennesey, a volunteer at the Grove Street Homeless Shelter, was there the night the shelter burned to the ground and five heroic firefighters died at the scene. Among them was her husband, Adam. Like the rest of the surviving spouses, Bryn must find a way to begin again. But Bryn must do so living with a horrible secret…

Garrett Edmonds’s wife, Molly, was the only female firefighter to perish in the blaze. As her husband, it was his job to protect the woman he loved… how can he go on in the face of such unbearable loss and guilt?

And what started the fire that destroyed the dreams and futures of so many? Investigators are stumped. But someone knows the answer…

My review:

What if some simple and foolish mistake caused the death of someone else? Everyone at some time has made mistakes that could have disastrous consequences but by the grace of God most of them are just foolish mistakes. This story follows the regret and guilt of someone’s innocent but deadly mistake. I rarely cry when I read a fictional novel, but this one just drew it out of me. I could feel the pain and regret of the person living with that one foolish mistake. This story was well written and really powerful.

The thing that I liked most about this book was that the characters were real. They experienced real pain and regret as well as real joy and forgiveness. I very much admired Bryn because she was strong enough to do what was right even when it would cost her greatly. That kind of strength in both character and faith is not something that is seen regularly in the real world (or the fictional one).

I really liked Garrett. He struggled with the loss of his wife and growing feelings for Bryn in the midst of his grief. Again, another real character. Even when I wished he would react differently to things, I knew that his reactions were consistent with who he was.

What I enjoyed most about this book:

That it made me cry. Seriously. I can’t remember the last novel that made me do that. I don’t really want to cry when I am reading a novel, but I could not put this book down because of how real it was to me.

What I didn’t like about this book:

That it made me cry. I am glad I was reading in a room by myself at the time because I was not expecting that and I wouldn’t have wanted to explain it to my family.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes. It was a very well written story. The characters were real and flawed, but good (or I should say God) triumphed in the end. This is the first book in the Hanover Falls series.

Where can I learn more about this author and their books?

Deborah Raney, Author website

Share this with others so we can support these wonderful authors.

-Loraine Nunley

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