Restoring Love by Jennifer Slattery
Published By New Hope Publishers January 02, 2017
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she’s also working on restoring something herself. As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common, a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?
Jennifer Slattery’s latest book is one of hope and forgiveness born out of tragedies which have consequences that encroach on her two main character’s every sides.
Oh my goodness, Ms. Slattery’s main characters of this book are both, for lack of better words, disasters at life! Everything that could possibly go wrong for a person has happened to one or the other of them and they are living with the aftereffects of tragedies that can make or break you depending on where you have placed your faith and trust. Thankfully, Ms Slattery had her characters placing their faith in God, although, like many people, they are finding out that its still hard to deal with the consequences of actions that were taken before one allows God to direct one’s path. I know that the point of this book was for Ms. Slattery to show that there is forgiveness and hope to be found in God but there was so much that had gone wrong for these characters that it was going to be difficult for her to have the story come out with a good and complete ending. And while she did a fairly good job at portraying the road to recovery, I felt that the ending was too rushed and wrapped up too neatly for the numerous circumstances that were described in the story. Her main character Angela would be the “poster-child” of what not to do with your life as a woman – but Ms. Slattery further made Angela the “ideal person” when one thinks of those who need of the grace and mercy of God. I’m not a big supporter of having your stories only be about those who “appear” to need the most help from God but Ms. Slattery handled that well in her story. It was wonderful to see how Ms. Slattery had Angela living her faith and new life daily by choosing to keep her relationships with any man strictly friendship and even coming off as slightly cold towards men to ensure she didn’t fall into her old habit of constantly hunting for a new boyfriend. And her struggle with dressing in modest, age appropriate attire was laugh out loud funny at times while truly saddening at others – often giving me a sense of true compassion for her dilemma. I was really thrilled to see that Ms. Slattery allowed Angela to have a true journey towards achieving her new life in the pages of this story, making the sense of success at her finding an ideal job and paycheck very real and satisfying to read. Ms. Slattery’s other main character Mitch has all kinds of trouble raining down on him, from his partner looking to dissolve their company, to trying to help one of his renter’s keep a roof over her family’s heads, to his drug and alcohol addicted son and enabling ex-wife, and trying to figure out Angela and her quirky ways. For about 70% of the book, nothing goes right for him and every turn for him is more problems and heartache. Granted, the majority of his troubles came from his own bad decisions in years past but I really felt sorry for him and the load of trouble he had to carry throughout the story. And even though the ending brought about resolution to most of his problems, it was so rushed I had to read the last pages twice to understand everything that was resolved too quickly/neatly for my liking. Therefore, I feel that while this book had many redeeming qualities and good lessons to be taught, there was so many terrible situations and problems that the entire story seemed a mess. Ms. Slattery wrote it well, with the exception of the rushed ending, and encouraged the reader to feel sympathy and compassion for her characters. However, when a story carries so much trouble I feel like the ending needs to be as well developed as the problems that were being faced. Having not read this author before I will be more cautious in the future when considering her work but believe that given other story plots I would better enjoy Ms. Slattery’s writing. It is possible that I might suggest this book to others but it will not be one of my top favorites to share.
I received this E-book free of charge from New Hope Publisher’s via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.