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Then Came You: A Bradford Sisters Novella Kindle Edition
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Honestly, when I first started this novella, I thought I would hate it. Garner's journal entry was great, but then we get to know Kathleen through random phone conversations, messages, and notes. It's a prime example of telling instead of showing, plus, Kathleen says things like, "They were cordial in their polite rejection." Um, I don't think anyone talks like that anymore.
But the truth is, Then Came You is an unexpectedly good, highly unique story. Other than Katherine Reay's Dear Mr. Knightley, I haven't encountered an epistolary/journal-based book in Christian fiction. The genre could use more of them if they are written as well as Then Came You was. The style sacrifices some novel conventions, such as action- and dialogue-based scenes. But Garner and Kathleen's voices and personalities are plenty strong enough to carry it off. Garner in particular won my heart from the beginning. He's a wonderful father and a worthy guy, but unafraid to admit he's flawed. He's brilliant yet stubborn, protective yet (understandably) paranoid at times. Thus, Kathleen makes a great match for Garner, because she challenges him to change, face his fears, and enjoy life again. That's a lot to pull off in less than 200 pages, but Becky Wade manages it well.
As for Garner's other two ladyloves, Sylvie and Robin, they're also beautifully drawn. I want to say again how much I appreciate this element of the story. Usually, you'd see a single mom raising the kids, because the dads have more freedom of movement, so to speak. Rarely if ever, in Christian or secular fiction, have I seen the man deal with the consequences of his relationships the way Garner does. And because those relationships are so incredibly different, they add wonderful shading to Garner's character, plus his eventual relationship with Kathleen. You get to see up close and personal how each of these women has affected the lives of their husband and children. Sometimes the women are a bit stereotypical; Robin comes off like a saint at first, while Sylvie seems like the typical shallow supermodel with no redeeming qualities. But Sylvie isn't evil, and Robin is more complex than Garner gave her credit for. Again, not an easy thing to pull off when your hero has had three relationships and you need to explore each one.
I almost wish this were a full-length novel, but for what exists, I think Becky did a great job. It made me eager to read True to You again, plus get my hands on Willow and Brittany's stories as soon as they're available.
Garner had to let go of the past and grow before he could begin a new relationship, and that for me was the best part of the story. Seeing him react to the unfortunate events of his life and trying to move on from them. And in the short amount of time that this novella offers, you see great things from Garner. And yes, some swoon worthy moments. But here's the important message - we are human. We make mistakes. And before we can move forward in our lives we need to remember the deal with those things!
I am so excited to see what is in store for this new series!! And I'm glad that this novella was released first so we get a glimpse of the back story before the real stories begin!
The tragic death of his wife Robin leaves Garner even further in a black void as well as leaving him with a second baby daughter, Nora to raise. To say Garner "loved"Robin no doubt was an exaggeration of the word, he felt comfortable & safe with her. She had however been the catalyst to getting God back into his everyday life.
Then along came Kathleen.; she certainly is not looking for love, nor is Garner, but as is often the case in our lives..God has plans of his own for each of us.
Well written. Different way of presentation & so very enjoyable to read. Enjoy.