Wow. This is one of those compelling books that kept me up all night to read it, and when it was over, all I could was think, "Wow. That was one of the most emotionally-charged books I've ever read." After reading Prelude - Casting Stones
, I was eager to find out what happened to James Raven and Esther. James chose to marry someone else, leaving Esther heartbroken. After his wife dies, he returns, and Esther believes this is her second chance.
It's hard to say what happens in this book without spoiling it, and I don't want to put up any spoilers. So I'll try to sum it up without ruining the plot. I'll say right away it was not predictable at all. I thought the characters would end up going one way, but they went another. That's what compelled me to keep reading, and in the end, it's what made me say, "Wow. What a great book!"
This isn't a warm and fuzzy book. Esther does get her wish. She gets to marry James and she has his child, but life doesn't turn out as she hoped. There are hard issues addressed here. For one, we take a look at the power of resentment as it builds up over time. What starts as a selfish act didn't lead either character in the direction they wanted to ultimately be in. It's hard not to think of this book without tearing up. The issues mentioned in relation to human emotions are so authentic you can't help but sympathize for even the unlikeable characters in the book. Nothing is black and white. With this book, it's all shades of gray.
I look forward to the next book this author writes, and I will understand next time that I can't predict what will happen and probably find myself reading late at night while I try not to cry.