What's not to love about that cover? Gorgeous color and composition! I really like Julie's writing and her Otter Bay series.
Let's begin with the summary:
How do you restore a soul? One brush stroke at a time ...
Suz Mitchell is a determined dreamer, and won't allow her ex-husband's jail sentence to ruin their young son Jeremiah's life. An accomplished artist, Suz moves with her child across the country to California's central coast, and lands a job restoring priceless art for the historic Hearst Castle overlooking the sea.
But even dreams have shocking twists. To her surprise, a serious old flame, Seth, works at the castle and jumbles the new aspirations in Suz's heart. While sorting through their past and a palette of spiritual differences, an even bigger brush with yesterday awaits.
Suz must learn to let God be the true restorer of all that once seemed lost.
And now, my review:
I love Julie’s setting for this novel—a castle and the ocean. Very enjoyable. Her characters seem to breathe on the page, and I could see myself in her heroine here and there. The artistic flavor of the story, due to the heroine’s (Suz’s) job, was a delight. And the deep relationship and love Suz had for her son rang true.
I like Julie’s way of subtly including grace and God-things in her stories. You know you’re in good hands with her as an author. Her discussion between Letty and the heroine about God writing their life story was great. And that’s just one example.
Her heroine, in this first-person, past-tense rendering asks herself this question: Why were my emotions swayed by the attitudes of others? What a great question. See what I mean? You get a dash of wisdom here or there, an opportunity to check in with yourself.
Speaking of her first-person point of view—I love this POV. And Julie skillfully carries it off, as usual.
One of her main themes was overcoming the past. Our heroine didn’t want to hold anyone’s past against them, though she held hers against herself sometimes. She gave herself little credit (who hasn’t?). She gave others in her life too much credit. It’s all part of what makes this story compelling.