34. Callie by Sharon Srock
A baby is dead and Callie Stillman blames herself. Haunted by memories of a tiny coffin, Callie can’t understand how God could expect her to put her heart on the line a second time. But the evasive little girl attending her Sunday School class is so obviously in trouble that Callie finds her resolve cracking. Iris and Samantha Evans are living on borrowed time. Deserted, orphaned, betrayed, and deceived, they need rescuing in the worst way. Steve Evans had his life changed by God. A reformed drug addict, he’s searching for the family he abandoned ten years ago and praying for a miracle. The road to healing is rocky. But as Callie confronts her worst fears by bringing father and daughters together in a risky bid for reconciliation, she realizes that the Evans family aren’t the only ones God wants to rescue from a tortured past.
Callie was a good read, though it took me awhile to get into it. Callie is the kind of person who wants to do whatever she can to help others. When something goes wrong with a situation that Callie thought she was helping with, she can't help but blame herself. It wasn't even her fault, but she's been haunted by it ever since and can't get past it. Despite this, Callie feels called to help when she realizes how much Iris and her sister needs it. Taking Samantha and Iris under her wing, Callie sets out to prove that she can make a difference in not only their lives, but hers as well. She doesn't get much support from her husband at first because he doesn't want her to end up getting hurt again. I can see his point, but she's able to warm him up that she's doing the right thing. Samantha is resistant to change and help as she's been let down so much in the past and doesn't trust people easily. Callie realizes that she might be getting in over her head, but she's determined to not give up. Little by little, piece by piece, Callie, Samantha, Iris, and Steve start to heal from their troubled past.
What I liked about Callie was the theme revolving around second chances, new beginnings, and forgiving yourself/letting go of your past. Steve and Samantha learn the importance of second chances; people can change if they really want to. Callie goes through a transformation of forgiving herself and just letting go of what happened. Every main character comes to realize that new beginnings are possible if you let down your guard a little and be more vulnerable. I'm not saying that these things are easy, but things can change if you do it a little at a time. I can't end this without mentioning that Callie's friends were a great support system which was an added bonus.
Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!