Brooklyn Myers escaped her broken home and her embittered, unloving father by eloping to Reno at the age of 17. But when she was pregnant with their first child, her husband abandoned her as well. Not welcome back home in Thunder Creek, Brooklyn stayed in Reno and raised her daughter Alycia on her own, doing her best to make sure Alycia never knew the heartache and rejection Brooklyn herself had known.
When her estranged husband Chad Hallston dies, he leaves the family home in Thunder Creek to his daughter. Believing it is the best way to give her daughter a stable home, Brooklyn does what she thought she would never do. She goes home to the orchard and wine country of Southwest Idaho. There, she encounters Chad’s best friend, Derek Johnson, a part time sheriff’s deputy who also owns an organic produce farm next door. Derek was never a fan of former bad girl Brooklyn Myers, but he made a promise to his dying friend that he would be the father to Alycia that Chad had never been.
Although Derek and Brooklyn get off to a bumpy start, he and Alycia quickly form a bond. And soon, Derek realizes that he wants Brooklyn to trust him too . . . even knowing that her trust won’t come easily. And then he realizes he wants even more than her trust. He wants to win her love.
While Brooklyn may be tempted to give her heart to Derek, risking her daughter’s happiness is another story. Will Brooklyn hold onto her self-reliance for dear life, or will she come to understand that the greatest gift she can give her daughter is showing her how to love and trust others?
You’ll Think of Me by Robin Lee Hatcher was a sweet, engaging story filled with picturesque small town scenes and events that made me feel like I was there. I loved the community that Ms. Hatcher developed in this book. It had a very realistic small-town feel, from thoughtful scenes where members of the community came together to support their own to the not as pleasant characteristic of small towns where rumors can spread like wildfire. The mostly pleasant aspects of the community and the way they stepped in to help and encourage each other was a wonderful part of the book that I loved. Ruth (Derek’s grandmother), in particular, was one of the characters that made me feel welcomed into the story as I read. Through her character and a few others, the book delivered some powerful moments of wisdom. The flow of the book itself feels as though it has that laid-back small-town pace, only adding to the pleasantness of the story.
When we enter into Brooklyn’s story, she’s already been through a lot of change in her life, including finding her Savior, gaining courage, and maturing a great deal. I would have loved to have seen that change as it happened, but those changes can still be appreciated even though the reader is not present for them. Like any of us, though Brooklyn has changed much from her youth, especially after being introduced to the Lord, she is still undergoing change. Her faith is still being challenged and she’s growing more fully into it throughout the book, especially as she has to come face to face with her past. Through the work of the Lord, she learns more of how to overcome her past and not let it overcome her.
Facing the past is most often not an easy thing, but it’s important to our healing, and though Brooklyn did not have plans to go back to the hometown she came from, God knew what was best for her and made a way for her to find what He knew she needed. I loved that aspect of this book. Both Brooklyn and Derek have other plans in mind for themselves, but God sends them on a detour from those plans that turns out to be infinitely better than they could have imagined for themselves. The book concludes with a sweet ending that just might make you tear up (in a good way :)) and just might speak to your own heart about who you are in the Father’s eyes and remind you of just how much He loves you and that He has the best in mind for you.
**I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.