Published: Random House – Ballantine
Date: August 8th 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.
Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.
Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber sucked me in right from the beginning and I couldn’t believe that it was 352 pages long. It felt like 100. It is delightful, warm and entirely a ‘feel good’ book. And… just a little different to her other books to make me sigh with happiness when I had finished.
I loved the characters. Shay is a little hard edged to begin with, but then her life has been no picnic and she has had it tough since childhood. Now being ‘played’ by her brother and having just completed three years imprisonment, she is in danger of being out on the street until she meets Drew Douglas.
Sure Drew is a pastor, but he is still in depression after losing his wife Katie and could himself be in danger of losing his role at the church. However in reaching out to help Shay he finds friends who reach out a hand to him and lift him up and out. He has two adorable children Mark and Sarah, they take up a good space in the story and I really liked that.
As well there are a circle of people around Drew and Shay who are minor characters but are mostly very likeable or a little prickly but redeemable. There are a couple of homeless men who caught my attention, both wonderful and showed a side of Shay that said so much about her. I would have liked to see a little more of them.
There is a little bit of mystery towards the end that seems to put Shay in danger of losing what she has worked so hard for. That mystery wasn’t difficult to work out ( I think the reader was meant to do so), but it all works out of course.
A charming, warm and uplifting story.