5 Stars Out Of 5
Wonderful end to a series!
March 27, 2014
A Love Surrendered is the final book in Julie Lessman's Winds of Change series and the final O'Connor book. I knew this was the last book and was torn between savoring every word and reading as quickly as possible to find out what was going to happen - I chose the latter and finished this book in less than a day! Once I got started, I couldn't put it down. I only quit when I was about to fall asleep reading!
I fell completely in love with the O'Connors during the last 5 books and was about to cry when I reached the end of this one! They felt like family and I didn't want to see them go! The great part of books though, it that I can go back and "visit" them as often and as many times as I want.
This is Steven's story, I was so excited when I realized that! I couldn't wait to see where Julie would take him and what was going to happen next in the family. If you've read any of the other books, then you know Steven has had a rough go of it. He feels responsible for so much and can't forgive himself for his mistakes. He has spent his whole life trying to measure up to some impossible standard and doesn't even realize it.
Annie was the perfect heroine for him. So sweet and compassionate, but with a strong will, too. She was so real there were several times when I was thinking, "I would have totally done that!" Watching her grow up and spread her wings really hit home with me. Her faith journey did, too. She struggles with following God and honoring Him, as we all do. I love characters that are human, they make mistakes, sometimes the same one more than once, but they find God is still there for them, just as He is for us.
I loved taking this journey with them, watching them grow closer to God and learn what "a love surrendered" really means. One of the lines from the book says, "He [Jesus] gave his all, daughter, a love surrendered so completely that we are transformed from the dark into his glorious light." This is the ultimate example of love surrendered, Jesus dying for us so that we might live with Him forever. All through the book, Annie and Steven learn of other examples of surrendering, not just in love, but to God and to His will.
This book touched my heart in so many ways. The message of surrender, obviously was very strong, but also redemption, grace and love. I'm not sure which part was my favorite, when Annie learned that God still loved her, or when Steven discovered that he didn't have to be "good enough." Julie, as always, has managed to tug both my heart-strings and my faith.
This book also continues to follow the other family members. I enjoyed catching up with them and seeing where their stories were going to lead. Luke and Katie, Sean and Emma, Faith and Collin, Marcy and Patrick, Gabe. Oh, I love Gabe! She's one of those characters you just want to hug! I also adored the newest editions to the family, Annie's Aunt Eleanor and sister Glory. Glory was so precious!
I was extremely pleased with how Julie ended the series, there were no unanswered questions, or anything left unsaid. It was sad for me, to say "goodbye," but it was done with such finesse, you don't even realize it's over until you look at the next page and see "Acknowledgements."
I highly recommend this book to everyone!