Wednesday, February 22, 2023

My Thoughts on What Happens Next by Christina Suzann Nelson



Popular podcaster and ex-reporter Faith Byrne made a name for herself telling stories of greatness after tragedy--but her real life does not mirror the stories she tells. While her daughters spend the summer in Hawaii with her ex-husband and his new wife, she must manage life on her own. All of that changes when she's asked to spotlight her childhood best friend's missing person case on her podcast.

Dora Crane has never accepted that her younger daughter could be dead, keeping her home looking the same as when her daughter disappeared. But when her husband leaves her and her older daughter intervenes, she agrees to counseling and to pack up her missing daughter's belongings under one condition: Faith Byrne comes to Deep Valley and sheds light on the cold case.

As the long-abandoned investigation moves forward, old wounds and long-buried secrets are exposed. Will these two women, whose lives have never been the same, finally get the answers they need to reconcile the past and the future?

My Thoughts:

Wow, this story. First off, I will make note that this is not my usual read. I tend to stay away from stories if I can that is about missing children, unless I know how it ends. However, with that being said, I have read author Nelson before and have liked the way she tells her stories, and the synopsis intrigued me enough to pick up the book.

This was a story about loss and grief and life not turning out to be fair or the way we would like it to be. It is a story about different kinds of loss. Not just every mother's worst nightmare. Without giving anything away, the author delves into loss and grief in a hopeful manner. Now with that being said, this story did break my heart and I was crying by the end.

We are told the story in three different points of view. Dora, the grieving mother who will not give up hope of her daughter returning home, even though it has about cost her everything and everybody else in the thirty-six years Heather has been missing.

Faith was Heather's best friend the summer before Heather disappeared. Faith was not aware of Heather's disappearance as she moved away before it happened, and no one told her. So, when she finds out it comes as a complete shock. Faith actually has an interesting job. She is podcaster who delves into hope, the what happens next aspect of life after tragedy. That is also the name of her podcast.

And the third point of view is Heather herself. The ten-year-old girl having fun in the summer of 1987 with her friends in a small town in the USA. We see and view the events of that summer through her eyes and what was actually happening.

This story is not for the faint of heart. It took me a little time to get through it. I was pulled in the story, but I knew the reading would be hard. It was also not a story to skim, to skip to the end either, I needed to read it straight through, as the revelations happened to the characters in the story too.

A heartbreaking but hopeful read written with beautiful emotion about the love of family and friends and a hope that surpasses all understanding.

I was provided a copy of this novel by Bethany House Publishers through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Christina Suzann Nelson ( is an inspirational speaker and Christy award-winning author. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, was honored as one of Library Journal's top five inspirational novels of 2017, and her 2021 novel, The Way It Should Be, won the Christy Award for general fiction.

In 2017, Christina was named the OCW Cascade's Writer of Promise and received a Cascade award for her novel Swimming in the Deep End. Her stories have been published in the Cup of Comfort for a Better WorldCup of Comfort for Adoptive Families, as well as other publications.

Christina is over-the-top about her passions, including the stories created somewhere in the twists and turns of her less-than-focused brain. When she's not writing, Christina serves on the board of Every Child Linn-Benton, a nonprofit where she has the opportunity to influence the lives of families and children in the foster care system.

On a typical day, she chases escaped farm animals, reads, hikes with her dog, and enjoys her husband and six kids.

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