Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: Home At Last by Deborah Raney

About the book:

Why did their differences matter so much?
Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he's stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters' efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.

All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother's white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn't repeat in polite-well, in any company. Her father's family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn't people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?

Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl's aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee's On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

My Thoughts:

Home at Last is a story about what it means to love and be loved no matter what.  This is the fifth book in the series about the Whitman family and this one is about Link Whitman who falls for Shayla Michaels.  There is quite a bit of challenges that stand in the way for this couple and not least of all is that Shayla has a black father and she had a white mother.  Already experiencing prejudice from her own family, white and black, Shayla does not hold out much hope for her happily ever after.  Until Link.  Link pursues her because of who she is, not her color.  He doesn’t really see that and not until they have a few dates does he realize what he may be up against.  Not only that but there are a few other obstacles that he needs to get past that are a little bit more unsettling for him instead of the color of her skin.

This is a contemporary read that really shows that there is still prejudice that people of mixed races face even today.  Not really fitting into either world can seem daunting and harrowing.  And can be a very lonely existence.  I like that Link and his family showed her acceptance and love, and viewed her relationship with Jesus as the most important instead of where she came from.  I think though the biggest obstacle in Shayla’s life was herself and how she put labels of unworthiness and pity on her own self.  If we could but glimpse the way God sees us. I liked how this novel showed realistically the extra challenges that an interracial couple may face.

I received a copy of this book for free through Litfuse.   I was not required to give a positive review and the views and opinions are my own.   

About the author:

Deborah Raney's novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas-the setting of many of Deb's novels-for life in the city of Wichita.

Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.

What others are saying: http://litfusegroup.com/author/DRaney

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