Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Truly, Madly, Deeply by Karen Kingsbury {Book Review}

 **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for consideration. All thoughts are my own. 

In love for the first time, a son’s decisions about the future divides his family in this fearless and thought-provoking novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of life-changing fiction.

When eighteen-year-old Tommy Baxter declares to his family that he wants to be a police officer after graduation, his mother, Reagan, won’t hear of it. After all, she’s still mourning the death of her own father on September 11 and she’s determined to keep her son safe from danger. But Tommy’s father, Luke, is proud of Tommy’s decision. He would make a kind and compassionate cop.

Meanwhile, Tommy is in love for the first time. His sweet relationship with Annalee Miller is almost too good to be true. Tommy begins seriously thinking about the far off day when he can ask her to marry him but she hasn’t been feeling well. Tests reveal the unthinkable.

While his girlfriend begins the fight of her life, Tommy is driven to learn more about the circumstances surrounding his birth and the grandfather he never knew. Secrets come to light that rock Tommy’s world, and he becomes determined to spend his future fighting crime and bringing peace to the streets. Or is this just his way to fight a battle he cannot win—the one facing Annalee?

Blending romance and family drama, Truly, Madly,Deeply shows us that, in the shadow of great loss, the only way to live with passion is truly, madly, deeply.

Karen Kingsbury, #1 New York Times bestselling novelist, is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller, with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development as major motion pictures. Her Baxter Family books are being developed into a TV series slated to debut soon. Karen is also an adjunct professor of writing at Liberty University. She and her husband, Donald, live in Tennessee near their children and grandchildren.

Keep your tissues handy, you will undoubtedly need them for this emotional addition to the Baxter Family series. From the anniversary of 9/11 to human trafficking's to cancer, this story covers a LOT of very emotional topics. This is the thirty-first book about The Baxters, but don't worry, it can be read just fine as a standalone. I have personally only read a handful of these books, but had no issues following along. 

Truly, Madly, Deeply focuses on the story of the relationship between high school seniors Tommy and Annalee. Upon visiting the ground zero on the anniversary of 9/11 where he grandfather had died, Tommy discovers his calling--- he wants to be a police officer. This is a revelation that comes as quite the shock to his family. Meanwhile, Annalee has been feeling tired and unwell, and when tests discover cancer, she is in for the fight of her life. 

Like I said, quite the emotional story! 

Now, I must admit, at times I found these characters just a bit too perfect... especially for teenagers. Yes, they had a strong faith and that is absolutely fantastic, but I felt like in reality there still would have been greater struggles than what they experienced... in the end, it all just came together very cleanly. It didn't change my enjoyment of the story, it just didn't read as authentically as I believe it could have. 

I really appreciated the storylines involving police officers and the struggles they and their loved ones face as well. These days police officers as a whole seem to get judged based on the negative few, so to show these officers in a positive light and remind us how much they do for their community--- and yes, even their role on 9/11 was refreshing and much needed. 

The Christian elements in this story were definitely more in your face than some other books in the Christian genre, so that's certainly something to be aware of if that's not your thing. Personally, I always enjoy those elements in the stories I read.

Overall, a very good read and one that fans of Christian fiction will certainly want to add to their TBR. 


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