29. Around the Bend by Rosemary Hines
The carefree days of summer bring an unexpected turn in Michelle Baron’s life when her former student (and the birth mother of their adopted son) returns to Sandy Cove. What is Amber Gamble seeking? How will it affect Michelle and her family? And will patriarch Grandpa Phil, facing a heart wrenching challenge himself, be able to help them lean on God for answers as they await what lies Around the Bend?
The end of another school year is near and the summer is about to begin for Michelle and her family. A couple of mysterious phone calls and a car that keeps circling around their neighborhood/street starts to concern her family. Six years ago, Amber gave Caleb up for adoption, to Michelle and Steve. Now she's back in town with a mission to see Caleb to get closure. When Amber unexpectedly shows up at their doorstep on the day of Caleb's birthday party, it all begins to make sense. Michelle and Steve agree to see Amber first to make sure her intentions are clear. The last thing they want is to have Caleb taken away from them. Still unsure, they let Amber see him under supervision with at least one of them present. As the visits continue, Amber starts thinking that she'll do anything to get him back, but to not let on that that's what she wants. Amber is put to the test once again when her boyfriend dies in a car accident, but Phil helps her through it. When it comes to Caleb, everyone comes to the conclusion that it's best for Amber to keep in contact with him.
Meanwhile, Phil, the family patriarch, has been working hard on a special project in his woodshop. And also dealing with the health challenges of getting older. I believe he has a feeling that his time on earth is nearing the end, but it doesn't stop him from being there for everyone else. As a pastor, he's always been good at giving advice and listening to others without passing judgement. It's heartbreaking when he ultimately dies and we begin to see how the family tries to cope as they plan his memorial service. We get to see how much of an impact he had on the community, family and even Amber during his funeral and subsequent memorial service. Phil and his wife Joan were like the glue that kept the family together. This book takes you on a journey of forgiveness, loss, hope, and love.
Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!