He thought he’d found the thrill of his life; she, the romance she’d hadn’t dared to hope for. Falling in love had been easy. Being married? Totally different story.
Married within a year of meeting, Ethan and Brandi add a foster daughter to their newly established family. Their story is enchanting—inspiring. Except when the fairytale fails. The stresses of unmet expectations and wounds from their pasts knife into their marriage, severing what they believed would be forever.
Hope for a broken marriage. Healing for their wounded spirits. It would take both to find evergreen. Are they brave enough to try?
SERIES: Grace Revealed #3
GENRE: Inspirational Women’s Fiction/Romance
PUBLISHER: Rooted Publishing
RELEASE DATE: March 22, 2018
Other Books In This Series
“If only Brandi had realized how far life would be from that fairy tale.”
No matter if I’m reading one of Jennifer Rodewald’s fun romantic fiction or her soul-stirring women’s fiction (with a dose of romance, because hello…#priorities), I am fully immersed in the story and deeply invested in the characters. In Finding Evergreen, all of the above is true… and in becoming so invested in the story, my toes got some much needed stepping-on.
Brandi may be one of Rodewald’s most unlikable characters, at least on the surface. But I completely identified with her. (Not sure what that says about me, but … anyway) My heart broke for Brandi, and I admit that I saw myself in her more than I want to admit. My heart broke for Ethan, too. Watching their marriage implode like a demolished building was sharp and painful. Both of them deeply hurt, and in turn deeply hurting each other. At times, it seemed like hope was on the horizon… and then just as quickly they were back to square one, or even further away from each other emotionally.
“Being unloved. It’s a lie from hell, and you don’t have to live under it.”
Yet, just as demolished buildings usually lead to spaces that are restored and transformed into something new and even more beautiful than before, so does the implosion of Ethan & Brandi’s marriage take a similar path. What once was broken and dysfunctional is transformed as only God and His amazing grace can do. The journey is not easy… it’s not simplified … it’s raw and vulnerable and authentic. But then, so is God’s redemption. His restoration is sweeter than anything we can come up with on our own, and His healing is more complete.
I fell in love with these characters – with Ethan, Brandi, and So-J (their prickly & sassy foster daughter), despite their flaws. And maybe because of them. I identified with both Ethan and Brandi – their insecurities, their emotions, and their journey with God and each other. This realization – “I was not kind. I was not patient. I was not loving” – is one that is still lingering in my heart as I use it to evaluate my own marriage and the times I could say those exact words. And yet, right there in the middle, wrapping their marriage and mine in grace and mercy and truth is this:
“Love was hard. Fierce. Sometimes a battle. And yet beautiful. It was evergreen.”
Bottom Line: Finding Evergreen is emotional and honest, written beautifully and crafted with tenderness. Rodewald’s exquisite way with words (as well as character & setting) shines on these pages, and so does her heart. This is a story of lost souls searching for home and finding grace. This is a story of a marriage dissolving before your eyes, the fragile thread that holds it together, and the realization that introduces the healing only God can provide. It will break your heart and mend it back into something stronger and wiser. I highly recommend this whole series (each book can be read as a standalone) and look forward to anything else this author decides to write!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / Beautiful.
KissingBook Level: 4 / Keep that fan handy!
Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. The draw to fiction has tugged hard on her heart since childhood, and when she began pursuing writing she set on stories that reveal the grace of God.
Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.
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