Grant and Audrey are adding grandchildren to their family left and right, but middle daughter, Danae, and her husband, Dallas Brooks, have been trying for years with no baby in sight.
Though Danae is ready to consider adoption, Dallas will not even discuss it. Despairing of ever having a family of her own, Danae decides to pour her passion and energies into volunteer work with a newly opened women’s shelter in town. Looking for a good cause to fill her lonely days, she never expects to give her heart to the hurting women she meets there. She’s finally learning to live her life with gratitude, but then heart-wrenching events on Thanksgiving weekend threaten to pull the entire Whitman clan into turmoil-and leave them all forever changed.
I can think of no better day to review this newest book by Deborah Raney than today – World Adoption Day. Another Way Home follows Danae and Dallas as they struggle with heartbreaking infertility in the midst of Danae’s sisters who get pregnant without even trying. A child of adoption himself, Dallas adamantly refuses to discuss the possibility with his wife. Desperate for something to take her mind off her pain, Danae begins volunteering at a new women’s shelter in their community and begins to find some peace. But when tragic events unfold on Thanksgiving weekend, Dallas and Danae are thrust from the infertility roller coaster onto the adoption tilt-a-whirl in the blink of an eye.
While Another Way Home isn’t my usual preferred genre (because you know I love my kissing books), I quickly identified with Danae and couldn’t put down the book until I knew how her story played out. You see, my husband and I have been married 15 years and we have no children. For a while it was a matter of choice, and then the choice was taken from us. I adore my nine nieces and nephews but sometimes I ache deep inside for one that calls me “Mommy” instead of “Aunt Carrie”. (I threaten to just keep one of the nine but strangely enough their parents have a problem with that lol.) And oh my goodness, I tire of the questions – “How many kids do you have?” (None.) “When are YOU going to have kids?” (Probably never.) “When are you going to give your parents a grandbaby?” (Oh, please don’t pull out the parent-grandparent card. That one just breaks my heart.) “Why don’t you have kids yet?” (Seriously???) Needless to say, I was right there with Danae as she fielded questions of her own – questions for which she had the same answers over and over.
Deborah Raney writes with grace and talent – drawing you in to the characters and their story until you are emotionally and mentally and spiritually invested in their lives. She paints vividly the heartache of infertility and the stress it brings to a marriage, even a loving one like Dallas and Danae’s. With the same brushstrokes, she reflects the frustrations and elations of the adoption journey – for all of the parents involved as well as the children. I felt Dallas and Danae’s heartbreak, their fears, their joys, their frustrations with each word I read of their story.
I also so loved Danae’s family – her parents and siblings and their Tuesday night dinners. Such wonderful closeness and friendship, laughter and warmth and love, emanating from the Chicory Inn. I wanted to join them one of those nights and play with the baby twins or sit around the table and just talk. Raney has done a remarkable job of creating a family of characters that you want to be part of your own family. And really, when you pick up that book and invest your heart and time in reading it, they do become friends and family in a way that only other readers will understand.
Bottom Line: Often a tearjerker, Another Way Home will nevertheless also evoke plenty of smiles and chuckles as you read. Deborah Raney beautifully and tenderly depicts the authentic, raw emotion of infertility and adoption as well as their unpredictability. Highly recommended for anyone who knows someone struggling with either battle – it may provide some helpful insight! While this is the third book in the series, it can certainly be read as a stand alone but perhaps better appreciated if read in order.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
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