Who I Am with You by Robin Lee Hatcher is the first book in the new Legacy of Faith series, and the most recent book I’ve been sent from the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild. I read it in a day.
I have mixed feelings about this book: mostly good, with a mix of “eh”. The book weaves together the stories of modern-day Jessica Mason, who recently lost her husband and five year old daughter while pregnant, and Ridley Chesterfield, who is running away from a political scandal, with the 1930s story of Jessica’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother. If you’ve been following me for a little bit, you may recall that I’m not a fan of split-time stories, because I find it so confusing to go back and forth 80 or so years each chapter. However, instead of each chapter being in a different time period, Hatcher simply dedicates the last page or page and a half of each chapter to the 1930s story, which I appreciated and found much easier to keep up with. The reason for the 1930s story being included is to connect the generations through a Bible Jessica’s great-grandfather had. I love that the author wanted to show that the truths of the Bible are timeless and apply to generation after generation, but I didn’t think that the extra storyline really brought that full circle, because there wasn’t a lot about the Bible mentioned in the modern-day story, except how the character avoided it. Once she picked it up, I didn’t think there was enough of a connection to warrant the whole additional storyline throughout the entire book. However, I did love the 1930s story, and would read a historical novel set in that timeframe should Hatcher write one.
So if those opinions aren’t confusing enough, I’ll add that the story progressed rather oddly for me. It was a while before the characters were really introduced to and around each other, and then it was a while before they started recognizing that they liked each other, and I didn’t really catch what shifted there. It was as if they suddenly liked each other and there wasn’t really one thing or event that set it off. The switch just flipped on and suddenly they were all flirty. Overall, though, it’s a really sweet story and an easy read. When I finished it, I sat there wondering if it was in a series, because there were things that didn’t make sense, but when I looked it up, I realized it was the first in the series, so it really should have worked as a stood alone better. Yet I felt like there were missing pieces I couldn’t quite put my finger on that would have perhaps made sense if I read the whole series.
So anyway, the point is, I liked it. I’ll probably give it to a friend and just share the story. It wasn’t a fantastic, earth-shattering work of fiction, but it was a sweet story set in a small town that just generally gave off cozy vibes. If you want to escape for a few hours and be inspired by some heartwarming lessons, read it.
Thank you to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.
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I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
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