πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘§‍πŸ‘§ πŸ’—πŸ™πŸ» A Beautiful Mess πŸ™πŸ» πŸ’— πŸ‘©‍πŸ‘§‍πŸ‘§ (2019) - Book Review


["A Beautiful Mess" - Amazon Stock Photo of Kindle Edition]

Thank you in advance to JustRead Publicity Tours, Vivant Press, and Brenda Anderson for the advanced review copy to read. A positive review was not required and all words/thoughts are my own.

Four years earlier Erin Belden suffered the end of her marriage when her husband had an affair. That wasn’t the worst part – the worst part was Corey (Corbin) fathering a child by the woman.

Current Day – thinking she can go on with her life with her soon to be moody teenage daughter Michaela, an accident derails Erin’s life dramatically. The accident slightly injures Michaela, but claims the lives of Corey and his wife Lilith.

As a result, Erin is now the custodian of the child that devastated her marriage – her daughter’s half-sister – three (3) year old Clara. While Erin has been Clara’s babysitter, there is a difference between watching a child and raising that child as her own, even loving the child as a mother should. That is part of Erin’s problem – she can’t bring herself to love the child as her own.

Erin is excited that Lilith’s parents want to be part of Clara’s life and think the child would be better suited with them. But, a mutual friend of hers and Corey’s – Jon – knows that isn’t what the couple wanted. Jon decides to find out why Lilith and Corey didn’t want their daughter to be with her parents. And, Jon is hiding his own secret about Erin as well.

As Erin weaves through the process of everyday mothering her own moody daughter, caring for Clara, the roadblocks of starting her own business, and going through her ex-husband’s journal – Erin finds a sense of forgiveness for Corey as well realizing she does love the child than ended her marriage.

She even finds that forgiveness leads to love.

Anderson doesn’t shy away from the tough subjects – infidelity, death, forgiveness, grief. Everything is here in one tidy package. And, it is presented in a realistic, albeit messy manner. After all, life is messy. This is one of those stories that makes us all sit back and ask ourselves “what would we do”, “how would we do it”. There is no real profanity, and what hints at it is “censored” out, making it a clean read for the most part. There is very little sex talk in it, so those looking for a clean read will find it in this story.

The story provokes emotions that are all over the place – anger, bitterness, jealousy, frustration, sadness, love. Case in point – I found myself mad at Erin, feeling sorry for her, mad at Michaela, feeling sorry for Michaela. I detested Corey as well as Lilith.

The true innocent in all of this was poor Clara who had no idea what was going on. And, despite Erin’s initial icy tone towards the child, Clara was still loving towards this woman and accepting of her in her life. That was the hardest part, even for me.

It was difficult to see how Erin couldn’t easily tap into or express her emotions. Some of that was glanced over, but never fully explained, at least for me.  

At times reading Corey’s journal was insightful which answered the “how could this happen” question. But, it was also frustrating to see it happen as well.

The writer was also careful with the religious aspect of it, as well as realistic. Sometimes we believe, but not strong enough to carry us over the hump or through the darkness.

Still, As Anderson reminds us, it is God’s will that is done – not ours. And, it is done in his time.


I found this a quick and easy read with short chapters and really couldn’t seem to put it down. I was finished before I even realized it. 


Release Date: November 9, 2019 (Kindle Edition Only)
4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



P.S: If you’re wondering about me reviewing an “eBook”, I was able to find a way to read this. It is an exception to the rule and not the norm. Not something I want to do all the time though.

Comments

  1. Thank you, Marie, for taking your time to read and review A Beautiful Mess! Finding your review this morning was an encouraging way to begin my day!

    Bless you!
    Brenda

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