This is a touching story that centers on Tory, pregnant with a Down's Syndrome child, and her husband, Barry, who knows what it takes to raise a Special Needs child. He watched his mother raise his Autistic brother. Tory and Barry have a deep discussion that brought this reader to tears. Other vital issues are covered in this novel. Cathy keeps a secret from Steve because she fears he won't want to continue to see her if he finds out. Sylvia and Harry face a challenge in their work as Nicaraguan missionaries through the after effects of a hurricane. Brenda struggles in her new job with a demanding boss, while she longs to return to homeschooling. Writing in the third person point of view enables the reader to follow the thoughts and lives of several characters as they interact with one another. Short chapters help keep the plot moving. Characters are quite believable. All in all, this is an enjoyable read.I did not read the first book in the series, but I had no problem understanding the characters or the plot.
Each of the books, while continuing the stories of all four families, has a particular focus on one family in each of the books. This one paid special attention to Tory and Barry who have two children, a boy and a girl.Tory and Barry unexpectedly discover that their third child is along the way. Their world suddenly changes when they find, due to testing during the pregnancy, that the baby has Down's Syndrome. Both are thrown into a tailspin.Tory comes to accept this even though she has concerns, but Barry, who has a brother with severe autism, does not. He can only envision a child who will be miserable and not contribute anything in this world. He recalls different times in his childhood where having his brother around brought him pain. His brother is still being cared for by his widowed mother. All Barry sees is that Nathan just sits there and whistles whatever tune he last heard, while staring off somewhere.Barry, an ardent pro-life supporter in the past, brings the unspeakable thought to Tory; he wants her to have an abortion. Tory is caught unprepared that her husband would even think such a thing, let alone continually pressure her to have it done and she loses the respect she once had for him. Things become quite tense and communication breaks down with Barry sleeping in the basement and coming home late all the time.I loved how the authors handled this. One of them has a relative with Down's Syndrome. One thing I've appreciated with these books is that they have shown the characters as being real- with real faults and struggles and victories. The struggle Barry has in his mind is a very difficult one and yet when he finally allows it, God is able to speak to him and show him that his brother's life has not been as he thought.
This is the first time I've ever seen this book and now I'd love to read the whole series! I can relate to the characters and their "real-life" stories. The way they handle each situation by looking to God and His Word is an encouragement!