We’ve tried to locate the ancient split oak tree at least two different times. Each time we have wandered the trails, the overgrowth and destruction from previous hurricanes have prevented us from finding the correct path to get there. Yet we’ve been told (and seen the pictures) that the 200-year-old tree is still thriving despite the lightning strike that divided it asunder those centuries ago. Maybe we need to try again to find it. . .
There are some people who are like that oak. Despite seemingly devastating events that occur, they continue to live. Others shrivel up and simply exist.
Job experienced loss and calamity most of us cannot even begin to fathom and yet he was confidently able to stand strong despite the accusations of his family and friends. He declared “I know my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” Job 19:25
How does your faith hold up when you experience adversity? Do you crumble up and feel that God has deserted you or do you hold on to the truths about Him in His word? Allow Him to be your strength and He will carry you through. And allow you to experience abundant life through it all.
The Miracle Tree: A Novel
by Davalynn Spencer
Published by Wilson Creek Publishing
Publication Date August 23, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Western, Action/Adventure, Clean Romance, Mystery
Setting: California Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
Laura Bell is looking for a second chance, not another romance. Devastated by her husband’s infidelity, the resulting divorce, and her mother’s lost battle with cancer, she comes home to the Sierra Nevada foothills to heal and start over. Everything is the same at her family’s hilltop home—except it isn’t. And neither is the boy next door. He’s grown into a sharp-edged former Marine with secret wounds of his own.
Eli Hawthorne doesn’t recognize the slicked-back city gal as his scrawny little tag-along from twelve years earlier. But when his dog, Goldie, leads him to her at the base of the old burned-out oak tree, a teenage boy’s unanswered prayers come rushing back. Laura Bell is finally home. But he’s half a man now, and his scars may be too much for her to accept.
Laura and Eli have a chance to fill the empty places in each other’s heart unless pride keeps Eli from trusting God and fear blinds Laura to the miracle she’s been looking for in the boy she left behind.
I would like to thank Davalynn Spencer for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Though its heart had been burned out by a fire, the “miracle tree” still lived and grew and even thrived. As children, Eli and Laura marveled at the tree and loved to hide inside it. As adults, the tree became a metaphor for hope and life after tragedy.
Some books just reach out and grab me from the very start and don’t let go until long after they have been consumed. They make me completely rethink my rating system and wonder how I can give it only 5 stars because it is so far and above any 5-star book I’ve read.
The Miracle Tree did exactly that! With beautiful descriptions that made me want to slowly savor the experience, sweet romance, hearts turning to God and some mystery and cattle-rustling mixed in, this story had the right combination of everything. Despite some adrenaline-producing scenes, the overall tone was one of peace and quiet strength.
I love the way my heart was so heavily invested in this story. The characters were so richly developed I felt that I had known them forever. They were broken but not defeated. Hurt but hopeful.
As Laura and Eli are reunited after twelve years, having only known each other as teenagers, the bond they had experienced in the past was strong enough to allow them to practically pick up the relationship as if it had never ended. Laura needed to learn how to put the pieces of her life back together again – learn to soar on the current and rise above the troubles that attempted to hold her down.
Eli felt that he was only half a man because of the loss of an eye and a foot. I loved the way that Laura almost didn’t even seem to notice these things. When she caught him without the eye patch, she never recoiled or even reacted momentarily. What a wonderful loving heart she had!
As I read, I was torn between wanting to know what would happen next and a need to read slowly to luxuriate in the telling. It was tempting to set it aside and just ponder for a while before picking it up for more.
The author’s love for cowboys and all things ranch-related and her heart for the Lord shine through so clearly and make the reading all the more enjoyable. This is a book that will quite probably visit my thoughts for a while, even once I’ve started a new one.
Davalynn's The Miracle Tree Pinterest Board(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)