When I requested the book from NetGalley, I didn’t realize that it was a Novel (fiction) approach to Faith. I thought the religious bits would overpower the narrative, but I was wrong.
There was some faith and belief in Jesus interwoven into the story, but it didn’t detract from the plot flow or the enjoyment of the book.
An old love letter found in the glove compartment of a young woman’s inherited 1972 Volkswagen propels her to leave her life in Los Angeles and go to the small town of Capitola, California. There her dream of finding the writer of the letter leads her on an unexpected journey that changes her life forever.
This was the blurb on NetGalley that drew me to the book – I thought it would be an interesting romantic story, and it was!
Claire James, age twenty-three, is ready to make it on her own. When she’s fired from her job as a waitress and subsequently kicked out of her sister’s home, she sees it as an opportunity to start over. But even before moving, a thirty-five-year-old love letter written to her mother keeps Claire stuck in the past.
That bit is what kicks the story in motion. As Claire makes her way to California, she gets into a minor accident with Pearl and Harry’s RV. The old couple are making their way to their daughter’s house as she is about to give birth to their grandchild. Since Claire’s car is totaled, they offer to hitch it to the back of their RV and then tow her to somewhere near Capitola.
Their generosity makes Claire a little nervous, since she’s quite a timid and shy young thing, and isn’t used to being around good, caring people. During the night, they meet Pearl and Harry’s friends, and Claire makes friends with their daughter Samantha. However, in the middle of the night, Pearl and Harry get a call telling them their daughter’s gone into labor, and they offer to take Claire along. She refuses, saying she’ll spend the night at the camp and then figure out a way in the morning. They leave her a bit reluctantly, but are eager to make their way to their daughter.
She then realizes that she can call a tow truck, which she does. Once again, she bumps into a kind man who offers to take her home as it is the middle of night and the repair shop is closed. Since he stays in Capitola and is married, she decides to take him up on his offer.
Since she is in Capitola, she goes over to the return address on the letter and finds that the property is for rent, and by a series of fortunate coincidences, she manages to rent the place and get a job as a caregiver to an old lady, Micheal’s mother…
Michael Thompson, a middle-aged real estate agent, wants to keep the past where it belongs–at least until his grown daughter is married. But, then a young woman comes to town . . .
There begins her quest to find the author of the letter.
The plot flows smoothly, with a lot of nice coincidences that weave in a message of faith. There’s love and friendship, extra-marital affairs and forgiveness. And a gently flowing sense of grace throughout.
Overall, it’s quite an interesting read.