A Chicory Inn Novel
SUMMARY: When the world just sees mistakes, God sees beautiful opportunities for love and grace.
All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother's white family rejected her African American father without even knowing him. Her father's family also disapproved, but they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After her mother's death and her brother Jerry's incarceration, life has left Shayla's father bitter; her niece, Portia, an orphan; and Shayla responsible for them all.
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling hard for the little girl's aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee's On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society's view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the ugly perspective of the world around them into something better for them all?
REVIEW: This is the fifth and final book of the Chicory Inn series. Since I had not read any of the others, I was worried I would get lost. The author does a fantastic job keeping the focus on the two principal players, Shayla and Link, with the characters of the other books taking minor roles.
With that said, this book was very enjoyable. It makes you think about how you view others who may be different from you outwardly, whether socioeconomic, job status, housing, or marital status, but who are just like you on the inside, where it counts. Once you get past their outer facade, you begin to see people made in God's image. Shayla struggles with how people see her. She has a difficult time understanding why Link would be interested in dating her. Link only sees her beautiful soul, not the color of her skin. He has a hard time understanding the extent of the problems Shayla experiences as a woman of mixed race. I like how the author shows the reader both character's viewpoints and experiences and helps him or her understand it a little better.
The story line moves at a good pace and keeps the reader engaged. My favorite part isn't the ending but happens at almost the end. Can't tell you what it is; you'll just have to read it for yourself.
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Abingdon Press
for review without any compensation.
Deborah Raney's books have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers' Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken recently traded small-town life in Kansas - the setting of many of Deb's novels - for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita. Visit Deb on the web at DeborahRaney.com.