Remember by Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley
Source: loan from public library
In their novel Remember, authors Karen Kingsbury and Gary Smalley seek to explore the question of how God uses memories (both the good and the bad) to restore broken relationships with God and with other loved ones. To bring this topic to life, Kingsbury tells the story of Ashley Baxter, a young single mother who has alienated herself from her family, friends, and God because of a life changing experience she had in Paris. A tragic accident forces her to think about her feelings for a man who has always loved her, but who she always rejected because he was “too safe.” A new job at a nursing home for alzheimers patients brings to the surface feelings of loneliness and fear of becoming old with no family or friends to support her. Will Ashley be able to face her memories of Paris and open her heart to embrace new relationships and re-kindle old ones?
I think Kingsbury and Smalley did and excellent job tackling this tough topic. Kingsbury uses her skills to build dynamic characters with experiences that are real and easy to relate to. The reader is drawn into the story from the very beginning, and remains intrigued until the end. Within her story she creates the perfect setting to incorporate Smalley’s expertise in counseling and relationships, without it appearing intrusive. The reader walks away with an enjoyable reading experience that is fun, and also has application to his/her own life experiences.
This book is part of a series written about the Baxter family, and the main characters from the previous novel do play a large part in Ashely’s story. However, it is not necessary to have read the first book (Redemption) to enjoy or understand Remember. Kingsbury does a great job introducing characters from Redemption without being vague, but also without being boring for those who did read it. Also, due to the series nature of this novel, the ending of Ashley’s story is not fully wrapped up. However, Kingsbury does not leave the reader frustrated in this regard. One is left satisfied with the development of Ashely’s life, and excited to see how the rest of her story will unfold within the tapestry of the Baxter family experience.
**I read and reviewed this novel by my own choice and was not asked to do so by the authors or publisher.