Monday, November 2, 2009

Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh

Publisher: Multnomah, 2009
Pages: 370
ISBN: 978-1-60142-166-1
Source: Publisher's review copy

This book can be purchased from Random House

What is forgiveness? If someone has hurt you and you say you forgive them and then go to great lengths to avoid them, have you truly forgiven them?

Piper Wicks is faced with this very dilemma. It has been twelve years since she and her mother left Pickwick and all of their backstabbing relatives behind. They never treated her or her mother as if they were really a part of the family. She seems to live by the scripture found in Luke 9:5, "If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town as a testimony against them." This is exactly what she has done. She has created a new life for herself. She has dropped the "Pick" part of her last name. She is a partner in a PR firm. She has a client who has recently talked about them becoming "engaged to be engaged". Of course as a Senator he must wait until the timing is right. The more successful she becomes the more she keeps telling herself that her walk with God is still okay.

Piper's past comes back to haunt her when she receives a phone call from her uncle's lawyer. Her services are being sought to change her uncle's mind. He has decided he and his family have wronged enough people of their town. He plans on making things right with them and with God by changing his will. Unfortunately when he changes his will he will set into motion something his relatives don't want, negative publicity. They have all had their problems displayed before the town. They are not all looked upon in a good way. Some of them have actually made changes to their life for the better.

The last thing that Piper wants is to return to the town she left behind. Who is the strange godson who has persuaded her uncle to change his will and what is his agenda? Piper wants to get in and get out as quickly as possible. Things rarely happen the way one wants. Piper wasn't prepared for all of the work she would have to do to help her uncle. She wasn't prepared for the change in her relatives. Most importantly she wasn't prepared for Axel. He seems to have used his relationship with God to help her uncle make some changes. Maggie and Bart also seem to have a closer walk with God. Why is it that everyone keeps trying to tell her what God wants. She knows what he wants. All she has to do is open her Bible to the passages she has highlighted. The funny thing is they all seem to carry the same theme. Is it possible that she has not truly forgiven? Is it possible for her to do so?

This was a wonderful book. I absolutely loved reading it. I felt sorry for Piper being dragged back into a town and a situation she had put behind her twelve years before. I loved the romance part. It was not your typical romance, boy sees girl, boy gets girl immediately. This was more like real life. It had real life problems with real life solutions and the solutions were sometimes messy. I am looking forward to reading Maggie and Devyn's story when it comes out next year.
I was able to relate to Piper. I told myself that I had forgiven someone but just couldn't forget what they had done. I felt no peace because I had not truly forgiven them or tried to find peace. Once I did that we were able to start fresh again. This book is a great read for anyone who likes romance, realistic fiction and stories that portray life as it really is, even if it isn't all pretty.

I am so glad I was given the opportunity to read and review this book.

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