Phylicia thought life was passing her by, but maybe this was love's plan all along. . .
At twenty-nine, Phylicia Chandler put her life on hold to care for her dying mother with her sisters, Joanna and Britt. Now Mom is gone and their father stuns them all by running off with a woman young enough to be their sister. Life is moving forward all around her, but Phylicia feels stuckuntil her father's protégé, Quinn Mitchell, presents the sisters with an intriguing business opportunity to purchase a trio of cottages just outside of Langhorne, Missouri. Joanna and Britt are convinced the three of them should launch a vacation rental venture, but Phylicia remains skeptical.
To complicate matters, Quinn soon finds himself falling hard for Phylicia. But how can he pursue this beautiful, talented woman twelve years his junior when she's still reeling over her father's hasty engagement to a younger woman? Quinn is determined to give Phylicia her happily-ever-after. But first, he must help her come to terms with her discovery of long-held family secrets and persuade her that true love can transcend their differences.
About the Author
Deborah Raney's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Deborah and her husband, Ken, traded small-town life in Kansasthe setting of many of Deb's novelsfor life in the city of Wichita. They love traveling to teach at writers conferences across the country and to visit their four children and a growing brood of grandchildren (who all live much too far away).
Read an Excerpt
A beam of late-afternoon sun canted through the mullioned windows of the breakfast room in her parents' house — Dad's house now — casting a checkered shadow across the tile. Phylicia Chandler picked up the last addressed envelope from a stack that'd been nearly a foot high when she and her sisters started writing thank-you notes yesterday afternoon. She pushed up the sleeves of her sweater and licked the flap of a pale pink envelope, then pressed the seal with the palm of her hand and passed it to her youngest sister. Britt put the envelope in the "finished" box awaiting a trip to the post office.
"Well, that's done." Finally. She hated that it had taken them two months to get these thank-you notes written and mailed. But Dad had been uncharacteristically indecisive, and they were all scrambling to catch up with work and everything else in their lives.
She looked past her sisters into the living room where the Christmas tree still sat — at the end of January — its white lights twinkling even now, thanks to the automatic timer. Dad wouldn't have put up a tree at all if she and her sisters hadn't insisted. But now Phee regretted pushing him, and the tree seemed to mock them, a garish reminder of their first Christmas without Mom.
It wasn't like Dad to leave things undone. Turner Chandler had always prided himself on being a get-'er-done kind of guy, even if it meant delegating. But Dad hadn't been himself for a long time.
Phee blew out a weary sigh.
Britt gave her a questioning look. "You okay, Phee?"
Her "baby" sister had asked her that at least twice in the space of an hour, and Phylicia still wasn't sure of the answer. She took a long swig from her iced-tea glass, the last unbroken piece from a set that had been a wedding gift to their parents more than thirty years ago. "I'm fine. Just ... tired." Her words came out muddled, her tongue thick with the residue of envelope glue.
"So, what do you guys think we should do with the memorial money?" Britt swiveled and put her stockinged feet on the seat of the chair beside her. "Dad said something about planting trees at the Langhorne City Park, but last time I checked they were taking trees out of that park."
"Not to mention we have over four thousand dollars." Joanna frowned and placed a hand on the stack of sympathy cards they'd been sorting through for two days now. "That's a lot of trees."
"Do we have to decide right now?" Britt asked. "I think Dad should be in on the decision."
"Britt, if we were waiting on Dad, these thank-you notes still wouldn't be written." Phee went to the other side of the kitchen island and placed the kettle on the burner. A swift click-click-click of the gas, and the burner flickered to life. She didn't even like hot tea, but it had become a habit, making tea for her parents each evening. Now, the kitchen felt foreign without Mom in it — despite the fact that Mom hadn't set foot in this room since last October, too weak by then to get out of bed. "I'm wiped out."
Joanna gave her a wan smile. "It'll be okay, sis. We're all weary. Things will look better tomorrow."
Would they? Joanna, although she was three years younger than Phylicia, had always played the mother hen, and even more so after Mom became ill. The eternal optimist, Joanna had told them the same thing that night two months ago when their mother had taken her last breath after three long years of battling pancreatic cancer.
Phee centered the pot on the burner. While she appreciated Joanna's outlook, and while she had felt relief knowing that Mom's struggle was over, that she was finally free from the agonizing pain that had marked her final weeks on earth, Phee still couldn't truthfully say things were better.
Not with Dad off in Florida as of two days ago, leaving the three of them to figure out what the next chapter of their lives would look like. They'd all put their lives on hold to usher Mom into heaven. And Phee had expected they'd spend the next few months dealing with the aftermath of Mom's illness. And with helping their father grieve. Helping Dad figure out what was next for him.
But it was starting to look as if he already knew what was next — as if he were the only one of them who did know what was next. Not that he'd shared that information with them. Dad had been vague about ... well, everything. About why he had to go out of town and what, exactly, he was doing in Orlando. And about when he would return.
She glanced up at the array of empty vases on the counter that, until she'd taken it upon herself to clean them out yesterday, had held funeral flowers. So many arrangements had been sent to the house after Mom's passing that they'd overwhelmed the air with their cloying scent. One bright turquoise-colored vase caught her eye. Ironically, Phee had chosen the pretty vase herself and arranged the flowers at her job at Langhorne Blooms. None of the other hospice workers had sent flowers, and Phee had thought it a bit too ... personal at the time. Especially the way the young nurse, Karleen Tramberly, had signed the card with "My heart and soul go out to you." Soul? That seemed a little over the top. But then, Phee had been surprised by how overly sensitive she'd become since losing Mom.
Still, Phee couldn't shake the suspicion that she was with Dad. A woman she and her sisters had met only a handful of times during those last weeks, but who'd seemed on awfully close terms with Dad. Karleen actually lived in Orlando but was originally from Cape Girardeau and was filling in for the director of the hospice organization in Cape. Karleen had been nothing but helpful and warm, even attending Mom's funeral service, which had surprised Phee.
And maybe that was all the woman was to Dad — a kind nurse who'd taken good care of his beloved wife. But looking back, something had struck Phee as ... off from the very beginning. She hadn't dared voice her concerns to her sisters yet. And she wouldn't. Not unless there turned out to be something to her hunch.
But hospice nurse or not, something was going on with Dad. And it wasn't good. Not only had he met with Karleen Tramberly twice — that she knew of — in the two months since the funeral, but what man left his daughters to tie up all the loose ends so soon after his beloved wife's funeral?
She and her sisters had written every last thank-you note, yet he'd left them hanging about what to do with the memorial money, and as far as she knew, he'd done nothing about ordering Mom's headstone. Dad had dropped the ball big-time.
On Thursday, Phee had taken yet another day off from the flower shop to drive Dad to St. Louis to catch a flight to Orlando. With so many things still undone. And even though he'd said the trip was for business, Dad had seemed almost ... excited to leave town. The construction company he contracted for had sent him to Florida a few times over the years, so maybe the trip was legit. But according to Dad's own complaints, with all the work he'd missed while Mom was dying, he was so far behind on projects here in Missouri that he had no business leaving town.
Joanna scraped her chair back on the Italian tile and carried her coffee cup and Phee's iced-tea glass to the sink. "No, we don't have to decide right now."
"About what?" Britt looked confused.
"The memorial," Phee said. "Isn't that what we were talking about? Dad is leaving it up to us what to do with the money."
"We can talk more tomorrow." Joanna tamped down an already neat stack of thank-you notes. "Are you guys staying here again tonight?"
"Like I have a choice," Britt said. "Please don't leave me here alone, you guys."
After Dad flew out on Thursday, the three of them had spent the last two nights here in Langhorne, in the house where they'd grown up, in the bedroom they'd shared, with its three twin beds lined up like with Goldilocks's three bears.
Britt had left college in the middle of the semester and moved home to Langhorne when Mom could no longer take care of the house. And although Phee and Joanna had apartments in Cape Girardeau, more often than not the past few months, they'd all spent their nights here too. Phee had thought she'd find it comforting to be here with her sisters after the funeral, but instead — probably because Dad wasn't here — the house had just seemed sad ... and a little creepy.
Phee ran a hand through the tangles in her hair — hair that was a shade darker than its usual tawny brown because it was in desperate need of shampooing. "I really need to go home tonight. My plants haven't been watered in eons and I ... I just have stuff I need to do."
Joanna riffled the stack of thank-you notes. "You want to come home with me, Britt? I really need to go back to my apartment too. And I think Ginger is out of town this weekend. You can have her bed."
Joanna's suggestion made Phee feel guilty she hadn't offered first. Unlike Joanna, Phee didn't have a roommate to inconvenience.
"I guess I will." Britt shrugged, moving the box of stamped envelopes off the table. "I'm sure not staying here by myself."
"You're not scared, are you?" Phee did not want Britt moving in with her. Her studio apartment was a one-woman setup, and Britt wasn't exactly the easiest houseguest to entertain. At least not for an introvert like Phee.
"Not scared," her sister said. "Just not crazy about being here alone right now."
"I don't blame you. This house seems a lot bigger without ... them." Joanna looked around the room as if seeing it for the first time. "I still do not get why Dad had to go to Florida so soon after —"
Phee's phone trilled Dad's ringtone. "Speak of the devil ..." She touched Accept. "Hey, Dad. How's it going?"
"It's going. How about there? Everything all right?" His voice didn't reveal his mood the way it usually did.
"I guess. We just finished the thank-you notes." She hoped he felt at least a little guilt for leaving the job to them.
"So, the girls are there?"
"Right here. Let me put you on speakerphone." She punched the speaker icon and laid the phone on the edge of the table.
"Hi, Dad," Joanna said.
"Hi, Daddy," Britt chimed, coming to huddle around the phone with them.
"Hey, girlies. I was hoping I'd catch you all together."
Melvin, Mom's fat black-and-white tuxedo cat, chose that moment to hop up on the table and purr into the phone.
The sisters laughed, and Melvin put his tail in the air and performed a pirouette on the polished stage, eating up their attention.
"Melvin! You know you're not supposed to be on the table." Phee lifted the sixteen-pound cat and returned him to the floor.
"How's ol' Melvin doing?" Dad's voice filled the room.
"He's good. I think he misses you." Phee stroked the cat with her stockinged foot.
"When are you coming back?" Britt pouted.
"Yeah, Dad. I'm getting a drama queen for a roommate until you get back, so any speed at all would be appreciated." Joanna gave Britt the stink-eye.
"Britt," Dad scolded. "Don't tell me you're still scared to stay there by yourself."
"Okay, I won't tell you." Britt elbowed Joanna, jockeying for a spot closer to the phone. "Don't worry ... I'll come by every day to feed Melvin. He'll be well taken care of."
Dad laughed. "That ol' boy could probably afford to miss a few days of kibble."
"When are you coming back, Dad?" Phee sensed he was dodging their question.
After an overlong pause, Dad cleared his throat. "You, um ... you girls might want to sit down."
The three of them exchanged curious looks.
"We are sitting down. What's going on, Dad?" Phee tried to keep her voice upbeat, but she braced her elbows on the table.
"Actually, I'm going to be staying here in Florida —"
"Staying? How much longer, Daddy?" Britt had put on that infernal smile she always wore when she talked to her "daddy."
This time the silence on Dad's end went on so long, Phee thought they'd lost the connection. But finally, he spoke. "Girls, I'm going to stay ... a while. Indefinitely actually. I've taken an apartment here."
"Taken? You mean like rented?" Phee scooted her chair closer to the table, as if by accosting the phone, she could change his mind. "Dad? What is going on?"
"I can't explain everything right now." His voice sounded odd. "I'm still fleshing out some details. You girls don't know this, but ... I've been working on a deal down here for a while."
"A deal? What is the nature of this deal exactly?" Joanna kicked into lawyer mode. She worked as an administrative assistant for an attorney in town, but she'd actually just started law school in Columbia when Mom was diagnosed. Like Britt, Jo had quit school and moved back to Cape at the end of her first semester. Her career might have been temporarily derailed, but that didn't stop her from speaking like a full-blown attorney.
"I'm going to be putting the house on the market."
Dad's announcement brought them all to their feet. "What?"
"This house? Our house?" Britt's voice went squeaky. "When were you going to tell me this? What am I supposed to do?"
"Now, Britt, calm down. All of you just take a breath and let me explain."
Again, the three exchanged looks, but this time it was worry Phee saw reflected in her sisters' blue eyes. Eyes that matched her own. Like Mom's. Phee went to the sink, retrieved her iced-tea glass, and took a sip. The liquid was lukewarm and diluted.
"First of all, I want you girls to know that you'll be taken care of. The house is paid off, so once it's sold — even after the hospital and funeral expenses — we'll — I'll be fine. Mom barely touched her inheritance from Grandma Clayton, and she wanted you girls to have it. You'll each have a share deposited in the bank. It should be there by the middle of February, if not before. Britt, it'll be enough for you to rent a nice apartment until you find a job — unless one of your sisters wants a roommate."
Joanna shot Phee a scowl that said, Over my dead body. Phee returned the look. They loved their baby sister, but Britt was high maintenance and a little spoiled — a truth even Britt herself didn't dispute, demonstrated by the fact that two months after Mom's death, she still hadn't started looking for a job. Yes, she kept house and cooked for Dad ... well, if Dad sold the house, Britt wouldn't have even that excuse any longer.
"What about your house, Dad?" Phee picked up the phone and spoke directly into it, as if that might change his mind. "Why would you sell this house? What will you do when you come back?"
He cleared his throat loudly. "You girls are sitting down?"
They exchanged glances again, and Britt slid back into her chair.
"Dad? What's this all about? When are you coming back?" Phee was starting to get a bad feeling about this. She glanced over to the hutch where a framed photograph of Mom and Dad perched — a picture from happier days, before cancer devastated all their lives.
Dad's sigh filled the room. "I'm not sure I'll be coming back, girls. Not to stay. And even if I did, I don't want to rattle around in that house. There are too many memories there. Too much history."
"Exactly. Our history." Joanna put her hands on her hips, looking defiant. Except for the tears brimming in her eyes.
"Can you all hear me?"
Something about Dad's tone caused Phee to grab her sisters' hands. She and Joanna took their seats again, straining toward the phone.
"What is going on?" Phee asked again.
"If you girls want to use Mom's inheritance money to buy the house together, there would be enough that your payment — divided by three — would be as cheap as any apartment. And I'd cut you a nice deal." His laughter sounded forced.
"That's not even funny, Dad." Phee's voice came out in a squeak.
He ignored her and continued. "Seriously though, I hope you'll think that through carefully. Owning the house together could be a bit of a mess once you all start getting married. And you know the house is old. It has some issues that might be pretty pricey to fix down the road. I don't think it would be the wisest plan to try to keep the house. But I'll pay you girls to get it ready to list. Quinn can handle the details."
Quinn Mitchell had worked for their dad for as long as Phee could remember. He was a nice man, and she trusted him. But that didn't mean she liked Dad's plan any better than she had five minutes ago.
"Are you still there?" Dad raised his voice as if they had a bad connection. "Quinn should be getting in touch with you in a day or two, Phee, and he can walk you girls through everything."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Reason to Breathe"
Copyright © 2018 Deborah Raney.
Excerpted by permission of Gilead Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love all of Deborah Raney’s books. I am so exited that there will be two more in this series!
Rating 4.5 Stars! The story line of Reason to Breathe is set in Missouri, and the story is about the lives of three sisters, Phylicia, Phee and Brit. Readers move through their pain as they lose their mother, and in another way, they lose their father, Turner, as he runs off to Florida, leaving the sisters struggling emotionally. Because this is book 1 in the Chandler Sisters series, this book is Phylicia Chandler’s story, but I definitely loved the dynamic between all three of the three sisters. I felt that they were thrown into such an uncertain situation, while trying to work through their grief over their mother’s death. The story also weaves hope in and out throughout the story. The sisters are very likable and relatable characters, and I was quickly drawn into this story because it felt so honest and real. As I got to the end, I will admit I was super excited to learn that the other two sisters will also have a story to tell in the next books in the series. Ms. Raney is a fantastic author and I've never read a book that she's written that I haven't loved! Those readers who enjoy inspirational and contemporary romance will definitely want to pick up a copy of Reason to Breathe to read before the second book is released!!
My review:This book started off kinda slow, but the more you read it, the better it got. Reason to breathe was a beautiful story of forgiveness, love and change. And I really loved the aspect of change. Accepting that people move on and you have to. And that it's okay to change be open to knew ideas. It was really sweet and cute! Perfect book to read on a cold, rainy afternoon.
Reason to Breathe by Deborah Raney was a highly enjoyable and emotional book journey. This is the story of three sisters and their father navigating foreign waters after a devastating three years of cancer battle took their precious mother and wife away from them. There are some big surprises and truths uncovered for each, crisis’s of faith, but all in all the hope to continue living with a new and different life. Many people have faced similar struggles as this family has, myself included, and while this story brought up some of those memories and feelings, I can look back now and see the goodness of God now through those years even when I didn’t then. And as this family moves on and time becomes a buffer from the painful to a different future then what they hoped for, they too will see the blessings that were there all along and remember their mother for who she was. I am really looking forward to more of this series and more of these sisters’ stories. There is also a beautiful and well-told love story in the midst of these pages that certainly had some challenges and obstacles to overcome to true love. I hope we get more of that story as well. This was a great read and a favorite for 2018. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
A lovely journey from grief to hope to love My rating is 4.5 stars Reason to Breathe follows the journey of Phylicia, known as Phee to her family, as she attempts to make sense of her life after the death of her mother and what felt like abandonment by her father. As she and her sisters did the best they could in the situation, they had to rely on each other in a new way. Quinn is put in the precarious situation by Phee’s father, of becoming the girls’ advisor. I loved that not only was he twelve years older than Phee, but that he was in his early forties and had never married. Somehow that endeared him to me even more. His maturity and patience made him quite a hero in my eyes. There were a few specific things I loved about the story. The way Quinn knew when his police friend described the middle of the night call they had that Phee and Britt were the women he was talking about That Quinn refused to refer to Phylicia as Phee and why he began to refer to her using that nickname The choice of chaperone and the fact that Quinn cared enough to feel the need for one The overall tone of the story is serious and yet not somber. There is hope amid the pain. There is a subtle and appropriate humor interspersed to keep the tone from becoming sad. While it isn’t the kind of story that has sentences jumping off the page begging to be highlighted, the writing is tender and lovely. Read with a Preview at AmongTheReads.net I was given a copy of this book for free. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
What happens when three close-knit sisters put their lives on hold to care for their cancer-stricken mother, then have to sell their childhood home while navigating through their grief after her death, in addition to dealing with their father’s wildly unusual behavior? Deborah Raney’s Reason to Breathe introduces readers to the Chandler Sisters; Phylicia, Joanna, and Britt offering an intimate peek into their story. While each sister has her own individual obstacles to overcome, they work together selflessly. The story focuses more on eldest sibling Phylicia, but readers will come to appreciate each sister for her uniqueness while admiring the thoughtful communication and decisions made as a cohesive group. Reason to Breathe does include a bit of romance; however, the overall story is approached from a different angle, and readers will likely appreciate the broad strokes. ***The publisher provided a free book. However, all opinions included in this review are entirely my own.
Reason to Breathe is a wonderfully crafted story, one that leaves you feeling good after the last page is turned. It felt like coming home in a way, because the setting is that of Langhorne, Missouri, same as the previous Chicory Inn series. Contemporary romance/women’s fiction is my favorite genre and Deborah Raney does it exceedingly well. One thing I liked about this story and others by Raney is that life isn’t always happy, and we see fictional characters exploring real issues in an uplifting way. The story is kicked off when the Chandler sisters – Phee, Joanna, and Britt – discover that their father is acting totally out of character after the death of their mother three months previously. Phee seems to have the most difficult time – and had I learned that my father was moving some distance away, with plans of remarrying a nurse he met during hospice care, I would experience great difficulty also. I know that people deal with grief in many different ways, but I didn’t care for Phee’s father for a long time and hope we see his character grow through the series. This is mainly the story of Phee and Quinn, who works for her father and unwittingly finds himself thrust in the middle of a rough situation. I liked the sweet chemistry between them and that there’s no arguing, but rather, their friendship has to steadily progress through the overcoming of several obstacles – such as age difference and trust issues. Spiritual themes are gently woven throughout, reminding us of God’s timing in all situations and that He often places people in our lives exactly when we need them. I enjoyed Reason to Breathe so very much and eagerly anticipate coming back to these characters in future series books. Recommended. I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
One really enjoyable read. Will look for more books by Deborah Raney and will hope they will be as engrossing as this one. Looking forward to the next one in this series.
Deborah Raney has written another winner with Reason to Breathe! This book deals with grief for many things. You'll feel frustration with Turner Chandler for leaving for Florida as soon as his wife dies and leaving his three single adult daughters to deal with their own grief without him! Then he puts the family home on the market and expects the sisters to prep the house! As the oldest, Phylicia feels responsible for her sisters. Quinn Mitchell, Turner's coworker and a fine male protagonist, helps the girls purchase and renovate a new place to live. Quinn has regrets from his past plus he is twelve years older than Fee who he has been attracted to since she was 16. You'll enjoy the antics of the close Chandler sisters as their lives move forward and as Fee learns secrets from her parents' past. I enjoyed this first book in the Chandler Sisters series and recommend it to others. I received an advance e-book from NetGalley. This is my honest opinion.
A true story of finding hope and love in the midst of grief. When Phee and her family lose their wife and mother to cancer, they are left to put the pieces back together. However, when Dad mysteriously leaves town, Phee and her two sister, Britt and Joanna, are left and lost in just what needs to be done. In this story the reader is led to laugh and cry. We see just how grief affects different people different ways. This is a great story which shows us how to love, forgive, and grieve in much they way we should in real life. I look forward to reading the next stories to see what type of new surprises will abound. I received a copy through Netgalley. A positive review was not required.
Oh, this was such a good story! I loved the dynamic between the three sisters. They were all thrust into such an uncertain situation, while trying to work through their grief over their mother’s death. Quinn and Phylicia were great characters. I loved the way Quinn was there for Phee and her sisters. I felt such varying emotions throughout this novel. The author did a great job of making me feel confusion and frustration toward the sisters’ father, who headed to Florida, leaving the sisters struggling emotionally. I felt the heart tugging emotions that Quinn felt as he hoped Phylicia would begin to see him as someone to love. I felt hope as the sisters worked together to make a new start in the cabins they had purchased. I simply enjoyed this beautiful novel from start to finish and look forward reading the future books in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
This book is so good. It will make you laugh and cry in spots. It is full of emotions and is very well written. If you like good clean christian fiction, this is the book for you. Thank you Gilead Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. This is my honest opinion of this book.
'The tears came, and she took deep breaths, forcing herself to calm down, to go for help to the One who was never confused.' I have been a Deborah Raney fan for decades and never miss one of her good books. She writes with great emotional depth, placing her readers right into the middle of her situations. This book was no exception. The Chandler sisters are still reeling after the death of their beloved mother, who suffered a long time with cancer. Now, just two months later, their father has run off to Florida with a woman nearly young enough to be his daughter. They are devastated. He is very distant on their phone calls....if they don't go to voice mail. They are still dealing with all the ramifications of a death in the family, too. Then their father's business partner, Quinn Mitchell, shows up with a plan he says their father asked him to present to the sisters. He hopes they will purchase a series of 3 cottages to live in and possibly use as a business opportunity. Again, they reel with this news because their father has never mentioned a word to them. Phylicia, the eldest, at 29, feels they should not do this, but the other sisters are all for it. Quinn Mitchell, who has forever had a crush on Phylicia, offers to help the sisters get the cottages renovated and up to using. He wants to let Phylicia know how he feels about her, but worries his age might turn her away because he is 12 years older than her. Then, a huge family secret looms large in their lives and so many questions arise that would Phylicia. Will any of them ever be the same? This book was powerfully written. Deborah Raney always manages to convey such deep emotion in her writing. I have wept many times in the reading of her books, both tears of joy and sorrow. I cherish each one on my shelf. This one particularly spoke to me because of a situation in my own life. We all, as believers, have a Father that will never let us down and Deborah Raney has planted this truth deep in my heart. Highly recommended. *My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
I was drawn into this story very quickly and it felt so very real, and as I got to the end, I am thrilled to know that the other two sisters will also have a story to tell. This is Phylicia Chandler’s story, and wow, a lot of bomb shells are dropped, but will she get the answers she is seeking. The setting is in Missouri, and a hard time in the lives of three sisters and the author has us feeling their pain, as they lose their mother and in a sense their father. Grief is hard and we put faces on those recently affected by this terrible pain, but we are also shown how living their faith in God is a healing factor. We are shown options of moving on, and there is a bit of sweet romance, along with the tears comes a few chuckles, and smiles. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, I love this family! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Gilead, and was not required to give a positive review.
A contemporary story with a heartfelt message! Following their mother's death, three sisters find themselves facing some big decisions, and must rely on each other to work out the details with their dad mysteriously leaving town. “That’s one thing I know for certain. God has been with me every step of the way. Even when I couldn’t feel Him there." This well written story carries with it a timeless message of hope in the midst of grief. The family dynamics and emotional upheaval with the death of a parent were realistically shown in the sister's lives, but without being depressing. I could relate to a lot of their problems and questions of faith after walking this same path with my own family. Phylicia, or Phee as her sisters call her, is struggling with trust issues, on top of the loss of her mom, and carrying the brunt of responsibility as the oldest. This was her story mainly, as she works through her relationship with her dad, and overcomes obstacles in her growing friendship with Quinn. He is a great guy too. *sigh* The conversations between the sisters are funny at times, and their love for each other shines past any personality differences. The nods to the show Fixer Upper had me smiling too. I look forward to reading the next book to find out what happens next in their lives. Recommend to readers who enjoy character driven stories with inspiration, and a tender romance. 4.5 stars (An e-book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own. )