It is 1918, and Rebekah Hendricks has her life planned out perfectly: marry the dashing, handsome, pilot Arthur, see the world and the experience the excitement it has to offer. But some things stand in the way of her dreams; the small town that she lives in is so stagnant nothing ever happens there. And her overbearing, obnoxious mother who really isn't doing a thing by constantly matchmaking her to the local grocer, is unknowingly fueling Rebekah's dreams for life outside of their tiny town in Oklahoma.
So when the opportunity arises to care for an estranged, ailing aunt in Texas, the same place where Arthur is stationed, Rebekah jumps at the chance to go help. Making great plans to aid her aunt back to health quickly, then rendezvous with Arthur at his base, she is so sure that her great life adventure is about to begin. But when she arrives, things change quickly with the Spanish flu epidemic and an unexpected situation involving four children. Will she be able to put her dreams on "hold" long enough to keep Arthur's interest and still fulfill her obligations to her aunt? Or will her dreams and plans be turned completely upside down by a family who have lost so much?
Debut novel or not, this book was wonderful. I am always a skeptic when it comes to books everyone raves about, because I'm afraid I'm not going to love it, and I'd feel bad giving a less than glowing review. But this book was so comfortable I felt like I was Rebekah, my dreams rising and falling with each turning page. You won't feel like you traveled or journeyed anywhere in this novel, because you're there, living and breathing through Rebekah's eyes, experiencing her disappointments and rejoicing at her successes. My only disappointment in this book is that it had to end...but that's inevitable, isn't it?