A 2011 RITA finalist from award-winning author Marlo Schalesky, a heartwarming tale of second chances.
Marnie didn’t know much about miracles.
Mistakes maybe. Accidents. And monstrous mess-ups. She knew a lot about those.
But miracles? Those were for other people.
Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But that’s nobody else’s business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church—they all think she’s the very model of compassion and kindness.
Then Marnie’s past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son—a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome—and that she’s woefully unprepared to care for him. What’s worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister’s attorney, a man Marnie once loved—and abandoned.
As Emmit (and Taylor) work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?
Y on Goodreads wrote:
Years ago, Marnie Wittier moved across country and started a new life, but when her sister is tragically killed in an accident, she leaves her 15 year old son, Emmit, to Marnie. The plot thickens as Marnie's old boyfriend, her first and only love, Taylor, is the lawyer charged to make Emmit's transition successful. Emmit shows up in California with an extra surprise when Marnie meets him and discovers that he has Down Syndrome. She doesn't believe that she can be someone's mom, let alone deal with the extra needs of this child; so she and Taylor start an email communication, and they both remember the past.
I loved this book, mostly because of the characters: Emmit with Down's Syndrome, Marnie with her boxful of regrets, and Taylor who just watched and waited. I have a heart for special needs kids, so Emmit just touched me; the way he loved and the joy he had was beautiful. I personally found one of the major twists in the story was unnecessary, and because of that twist, there was, what I felt to be, a bit of a discrepancy. Even with this one complaint, I would highly recommend the book.
The narration flows smoothly from present day Marnie to her memories, to present day Taylor and his memories. Each event and memory works together to develop and grow the characters. God works on the hearts of all the characters, but especially Marnie who begins to understand the strength of God's forgiveness. The novel had a strong theme and life application. I finished the book attached to the characters and thanking Jesus for his grace and second chances. He is an amazing God, and He regularly uses circumstances and people to bring us closer to Him.
Thank You! Thank You for taking the punishment that I deserved. Thank You that your mercies are new each morning. Thank You that you separate our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. And Thank You that Everything is possible through You!
I received this book for free, in exchange for my honest review! Thanks, I enjoyed it!
Was a bit tiring to read but the message was great. Crazy. Emmit the down syndrome child turned out to be an angel in disguise. Really good at showing how we hold on to the past and we're not free to live the present or future. And that a child with down syndrome is very difficult but things that get destroyed are just things, and you're loving God's creation.
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