Saturday, May 18, 2024

The Road Before Us by Janine Rosche: Book Review

*Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

How far would you go to fix the mistakes you've made and regain the trust you lost? For Jade Jessup, the answer is 2,448 miles. Once one of Chicago's significant financial advisors, Jade lost her credibility when her fiancé (and coworker) stole millions of dollars from their clients in a Ponzi scheme. Now she's agreed to help one of them--an aging 1960s Hollywood starlet named Berenice "Benny" Alderidge--seek financial restoration.

Jade sets off along Route 66 with Benny and her handsome adult foster son, Bridger, who is filming a documentary retracing the 1956 trip that started the love story between Benny and her recently deceased husband, Paul. Listening to Benny recount her story draws Jade into memories of her own darker association with Route 66, when she was kidnapped as a child by a man the media labeled a monster--but she remembers only as daddy.

Together, all three of these pilgrims will learn about family, forgiveness, and what it means to live free of the past. But not before Jade faces a second staggering betrayal that changes everything.

Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into each of her women's fiction and romance novels including With Every Memory and the Madison River Romance series. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.

Having traveled along Route 66 (often with the soundtrack of Cars playing in the background), there's definitely a bit of nostalgia attached to that for me. As such, I was really excited about this book. And it did not disappoint. There was a lot going on in this story. The POV switched back and forth and across three different timelines--- one in the 50s, one in 2003 and the current timeline. While it could have gotten confusing (and admittedly, did take me a bit to sort out in my mind), I found it was done wonderfully and I enjoyed the stories across them all. It all came together to create one beautiful story of restoration... and of course, some beautiful love stories too.

There were definitely some tougher topics addressed within the story to include PTSD, dementia, racism, parental kidnapping, sexual harassment... perhaps more I'm forgetting. As such, it did get a little heavier at times... but despite all the weightier topics, in the end, there is definitely an overall sense of hope and healing.

If you're looking for a wonderful Christian women's fiction, this is certainly one you'll want to check out.

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