If For Any Reason by Courtney Walsh: A Review

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Age Appropriate For: 18 and up. This story is about two different people dealing with the aftermath of a pregnancy out of wedlock and raising those children.

Best for Ages: 18 and up

Description:  Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom's advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to "supervise." And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door-turned-baseball star who's back on the island after a career-ending injury. As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother's death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

I have to start out by saying that the narrator for this book, Hannah Cabell, added so much to the enjoyment of this story.  Her narration was so good, I would give her five stars almost on her own. I would love to listen to more read by her.

Courtney Walsh is a solid author. I don’t always love her books, but I have yet to read one that I hated. She has skill, writes realistic stories, and her faith shines through. This book has been my favorite by her so far. As both a reader and an author, I was amazed at how she mixed three different threads of the story (Emily’s, her mother’s, and the letters from her mother two her) so well. It wasn’t simply switching back and forth, it was pieced together like a patchwork quilt, a very well done, beautiful quilt. This book shows some serious skills.

Now, the story was full of flawed people struggling, trying to do what is right and failing sometimes. Hollis has a daughter from a one-night stand and Emily’s own mother hadn’t been married. We get to discover more about her mother’s story as the book progresses. Honestly, I felt Walsh did a fantastic job covering a very sticky issue. She didn’t sugarcoat it. People made big mistakes and life is messy.

The faith element in this one I felt was handled well. It felt very natural and I like how it influenced the characters in the end. There were a couple of points I wish it had been a little more a part of the conversation, but again, it fit the characters so well it was hard to complain.

Speaking of the characters, I just adored all of them. They felt real, lifelike, and I loved each of them. Emily was my favorite.

I could go on about this story, but I think I will leave it at that and say that I highly recommend this book for adults who like realistic situations, unique storytelling, and lovable characters.

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