He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.
When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making driftwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife’s illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he’d given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.
Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby’s father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.
Results from a blood test prove that Libby is adopted, and her mother provides the paperwork that confirms it. Libby then begins the hunt for her birth parents. I believe that I would act much the same way.
The author writes believable characters with flaws.
The reader first meets Holton, when he's close to the proverbial bottom of the barrel. When his wife--the love of his life died, Holt began his long journey with alcoholism. He's truly unlikeable, but somehow Libby sees something worthwhile, and through her eyes, this reader relates.
Here is a realistic story of the horrible life of an alcoholic, the frustration of an adopted child seeking acceptance from a parent, and the desperate need of several people to believe that their futures have the hope of love. Although this may sound like a depressing story, it's not.
Forgiveness is a theme that threads its way throughout the tale. Each character has to struggle to forgive. We cannot be forgiven until we first forgive. I especailly like the discussion that Tess and Libby have about whether alcoholism is a choice or a disease.
My favorite quote is: "She couldn't change what was done to her, but she could show them what love was supposed to look like.
She could at least be the daughter she always wanted to be." (220+221)
Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for my copy.
If you would like to read the first chapter, click here.
If you would like to buy a copy, click here.