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I received a copy of A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot from Revell in exchange for a review.

 

Amanda Cabot shines her love of Texas Hill Country in her book, and her characters find a happy home there. As Austin and his daughter Hannah, and later cousin Grace, move to Catherine’s hometown, family ties develop and deepen. The small town creates a community feel, and Catherine’s connections to it as its teacher make her a good focal point. She both leads the children in knowledge and wisdom and develops her own as she journeys through the mourning period after her mother dies. Throughout the story, themes of forgiveness and trust abound. Cabot captures well the depth of the trials and hurts the characters experience. They experience realistic pain as well as healing.

Some of the painful experiences remind readers of their true depth. When Austin tends to a medical need, he reflects that his physician profession gave him the knowledge to identify internal injuries beyond the physical ones seen by the average person. This emphasizes a need for deeper healing on the part of the patient and understanding on the part of the community of caregivers. Other experiences remind readers of the importance of forgiving and speaking pain. Grace extends forgiveness to the perpetrator of her assault, but Catherine reminds her that by not sharing her story with the sheriff the perpetrator might strike again. Sharing the truth with Catherine allowed Grace to continue healing as she dealt with her turmoil rather than stuffed it. It also helped others stay safe. As this novel explores, a person’s painful experiences have a much greater depth than what the eye beholds. Healing must go deep, and it involves sharing and voicing the struggle with a trusted confidant.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. As I got further into it, I found myself attracted to it more, not wanting to put the book down and contemplating it while not reading. Though the characters hold an authenticity and their experiences seem realistic, it almost had too many situations during the last quarter. Perhaps removing one would have allowed greater exploration of a couple of the issues. As it stood though, I still appreciated the attention given to their depth. I enjoyed the characters and their stories, and I appreciated the overarching themes of healing and peace.

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