When I Come Home Again by Jennifer Rodewald – Book Review, Preview

Posted January 14, 2020 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews, LinkTree /

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When I Come Home Again by Jennifer Rodewald – Book Review, Preview

When I Come Home Again

by Jennifer Rodewald


Series: Big Prairie Romance #1
Published by Rooted Publishing
Publication Date January 1, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Nebraska Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 438

Synopsis:

When a family crisis calls him back to Big Prairie, will Craig Erikson be able to work through past mistakes and the tragedy that had sent him searching for a new place to call home?
Brenna Blaum had been sure of three things in her life—her brother, her running, and her dad’s star receiver. But in a matter of a year’s time, everything she’d counted on fell apart, leaving her devastated. Seven years later, she’s stable again. She has a supportive boyfriend, fulfilling career, and close friends. She keeps her past heartache where it belongs—in her rearview mirror. Until the man who broke her heart finds his way back to Big Prairie.
Craig Erikson had it all—popularity, success, and the love of his high school coach’s daughter. But after a year of mistakes that ended in a tragic accident, he’d left Big Prairie—the place he’d thought to always call home—hoping that without his antagonizing presence, Brenna would be able to heal. Now his mother desperately needs him, as do two young boys in her care. Craig has little choice but to return for good.
Unsure that she can forgive him, Brenna does her best to avoid him. Irritated that she ignores him as if they’d never meant anything to each other, Craig becomes determined not to allow it.
Life in a small town forces their interaction, making them confront their unresolved issues and igniting emotions that have smoldered for seven years. As Craig and Brenna are pushed together, can they endure the hard places still littering their lives? If so, is it possible to find their way back to love and home again?

I would like to thank Jennifer Rodewald for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.


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Jennifer Rodewald’s stories always have such a strong message of redemption. When I Come Home Again was a powerful story about what happens when guilt is allowed to grow and fester and how it can erode a relationship.

Craig and Brenna were both so broken by the past. Brenna had been hurt so badly she couldn’t even look at Craig without seething with anger! As their story unraveled, I was so surprised to find what had been the root issue for Brenna – and she was too.

I really loved Craig and Brenna. There were also so many amazing secondary characters deserving special mention. Here are just a few:

Trent and Ashton, Craig’s and his mother’s foster sons, were adorable! Their life had been so difficult and they had put on such a tough facade. Trent’s efforts to be strong and to protect his little brother touched my heart. I loved the one speech therapy session with Brenna and the way he put on a fake British accent to sass her. And the one where they were telling stories. I would have loved to hear the one they came up with!

Miss Jane was such a dear lady. I loved the gentle, kind manner in which she imparted her wisdom with Brenna, not withholding the truth, yet sharing it with love. Another dear woman of faith was Janet, Craig’s mother. Her strength in the face of sickness and pain could only come from a deep relationship with Jesus!

Scottie was dearly loved by everyone in the small town, and for good reason. Though many in our world would consider him not “normal”, he had a deeper understanding of the things that are truly important and spread sunshine wherever he went. I loved the sweet gentle way that Craig treated him.

I would be remiss in not mentioning Grant in this list as well. Though he was quirky in his fastidiousness and strictness of diet, he had a heart of gold. I hope, seeing that this is the first book of the series, that Grant will find love in an upcoming story. I’m rooting for him!

Much of this story is about the grief and hurts Brenna and Craig dealt with and yet an undercurrent of hope keeps it from being dark or depressing. And the children of the story keep things light as well. There is a great balance of depth and light.

Readers of Christian fiction who enjoy stories rife with spiritual truths and changed lives will enjoy this beautiful story.

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About Jennifer Rodewald

Jennifer Rodewald (aka J. Rodes) leans toward raw honesty, and isn’t afraid of dark places, because she knows the Light will always break through. Writing for her is a journey of learning. Life on the plains with her personal superman has been pretty awesome—sprinkled with dark and light places. They have four kids to keep things chaotically interesting, and her favorite advice to them is “to be your best weird self.” Jen’s tendency to be loud—she calls it a blessing to have a “coach’s voice”—is a family trait. Ultimately, she believes Love has conquered all—we just haven’t reached the HEA ending yet.

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