From Publishers Weekly
Fans of Martin's Christy-nominated debut novel, The Dead Don't Dance
(2004), will be delighted to see this somewhat uneven sequel in which Martin picks up the story of Dylan Styles, a farmer and junior college instructor. His long vigil at his comatose wife Maggie's bedside following the stillbirth of their son has ended with her awakening. Now, life in Digger, S.C., is beginning to return to normal—or so it seems. Together, Dylan and Maggie try to rebuild a life interrupted, grieve the loss of their son and ponder trying for another baby. But as the couple pick up the pieces of their relationship, tragedies—perhaps an overabundance of them—are just around the corner. "What makes the broken whole?" Dylan wonders. "How does deep-down pain, interwoven like sinew, come untangled?" Martin's plot twists, including one involving Pastor John's past that comes back to haunt him and the people he cares for, may seem like a distraction from the stronger theme of Maggie and Dylan's own struggles in taking their marriage forward. One of Martin's many strengths is in his rich portrayals of people, but he has a penchant for overusing similes, and his often beautiful writing sometimes needs to be tightened. The ending laudably offers hope and redemption without too-neat resolution. (Sept. 12)
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