Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Review of Always With You

Elaine Stock

January 2016

ISBN 978-1942513841
New Adult

Kindle 9.95
Print 15.95

From the publisher:
Can she move forward without knowing her past?
Will he enjoy his present if he can’t free himself from what he left behind?

In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful, which Isabelle’s father dislikes immensely. Yet, because Tyler belongs to this group, Isabelle sees only a man devoted to his family and faith.

She wants it; she gets it; they marry.

And when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices:
Staying could endanger her child.
Leaving could cost her life. 

My review:
Always With You is a cautionary tale of the dangers of keeping secrets, of following after false impressions, of swallowing one side of a truth as presented.

Lonely young people, one from a family of violent abusers and another from an austere but comfortable home, find each other during a moment of terror. Isabelle, a high school grad and waiting to get into the college of her dreams is rescued by Tyler, who lives on a compound of an outwardly innocent community. After her knight comes to her aid, she battles her family and the suspicions of her small town to look beyond their animosity toward the group who keeps itself apart from Outsiders. When she knows she can’t win, she surrenders to the Faithful.

Tyler knows inwardly all is not right with the Faithful family who rescued him and his siblings as unsecure orphans. But his desire to take care of his family, including his young wife, overrides other sensibilities and creates a desperate turmoil he doesn’t understand and does not know who to turn to for help and trust.

Told from three viewpoints, one not introduced until the last part of the story, Always With You is a frightening page turner, making any parent want to go and hug his child, no matter the age. Twists and well-planted cues lead to some inspiring aha moments, as well as the possibility of surprise in that it is not completely predictable. Recommended for those who like gritty stories of redemption and reality mixed in with credible characters in inspirational fiction.
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  1. Sounds fascinating. Also sounds quite intense for New Adult. I'm not familiar enough the genre to know what its standards are though. (hmmmm--sounds like a research/blog post project for me!)

    1. Hi, Linda. Thanks for visiting this great blog. I hope you'll have a chance to enjoy Isabelle and Tyler's story. Fortunately, it's on sale now :)

      Though the novel centers around young adults, it's marketed as an adult read, though I believe young adults may appreciate it. I'd love to know what you think.

  2. Sorry - been logged into google under another account all week and missed this. I arbitrarily chose New Adult because it's a hot "new" genre, based around what we'd call kids--later teens-- who make decisions older adults make, like getting married and having children and running a household, sort of, as "new adults." Think Hunger Games and Twilight--those books really started it. Jill Williamson, too, in her first trilogy, starting with From Darkness Hid (?). Nothing gets more intense than Hunger Games and I'm pretty creeped out as a parent that those concepts have become so disturbingly popular. Of course I was pretty creeped out when my kid in 8th grade came home with The Giver. Not that Elaine's book is like any of those. If this were still the 40s to mid-70s, age wouldn't even get a second glance, but since "children" have been waiting to marry and delaying children since then, it's sort of "new" to let high school-age young graduates do these things again.