My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
When a family tragedy derails Henry Phillips's college studies, he's left unmoored and feeling abandoned. Although Henry tries to find escape in bad company, the only things that can tamp down his anger and grief are the family farm, his fiddle, and sweet but unusual pre-teen Mayfair Hoffman.
Unfortunately, Mayfair's older sister, Margaret, with the freckles and cute, turned-up nose, has the opposite effect. Worse, she's his grandmother's housekeeper and helper, so she's always around and ready to push his buttons. At first he thinks she doesn't care about his loss, before beginning to understand she's facing her own struggles. Mayfair's health and unique gift sit at the heart of those worries, and Henry and Margaret soon find themselves relying on each other as both Henry's future and Mayfair's life are put at risk.
I enjoyed revisiting characters from the first book in this series (Miracle in a Dry Season), but I have to say, Casewell's son Henry is so clueless! He allows his grief and the varying emotions that accompany it derail him from his planned future, and he comes to regret his poor choices- some he's actually embarrassed about, and others he just considers a close call. I felt like his grandmother and mother, Emily and Perla, as I shook my head over him. Margaret is a little lost as well, but since she's the most responsible caretaker of her little sister, she focuses on hard work and serving others as she discovers God's will for her life. There are also themes similar to the ones found in Miracle in a Dry Season such as the sweetness and love of a child transforming a hard and bitter man, grief over the loss of loved ones, uncertainty over one's future, and hesitancy at the opportunity for love.
(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)