Sally John does not disappoint in her latest Side Road Series. I was captivated from the begining of her story. The characters kept pulling me into the story. The relationship between Teal and her daughter, Maiya, had me waiting to see what was going to happen. Throw a caring step-father, some untold secrets and Maiya's longing to know her real father, and you have a recipe for a book that will make you unable to put the book down. I was up several nights quite late because I had to see what was going to happen. I highly reccommend this book. (I was given an advance copy to read)
Sally John creates characters who are multilayered and believable. In Heart Echoes, I felt an instant connection with both Teal and her daughter Maiya and their desire for a bond with a biological father. Although, I never experienced the absence of a father, I understood the longing because I have a great father and I can't imagine life without that security. That's what's great about Sally's books. The reader doesn't have to have experienced what her characters experience to feel a connection. She creates a story that draws the reader in. I was in Teal's shoes, watching a highway crumble in an earthquake, feeling the panic of wondering if my daughter and husband were okay somewhere. I felt Teal's anxiety over revealing the biological father of her daughter and her own pain over the rejection of both a step-father and a biological father. I saw myself in the family relationships and marital interaction.
A highly successful attorney, Teal has buried her pain in her work. But as she begins to heal, a new and beautiful future unfolds. The story line has multiple layers as we watch Teal go back to her hometown for the first time in many years and as she reconnects with a half sister whose love she hasn't realized until now. Her husband, River has his own pain from the tragedy of losing his first wife in a terrible accident.
This is a story about reconciliation. It's about healing the pain of the past in order to move forward. And it's about the ups and downs in a relationship during the reconciliation process. Readers will see themes of insecurity, parent/child relationships, teen rebellion, the devastation of verbal abuse, the beauty of redemption, and much more.
I highly recommend Heart Echoes. Sally John is a talented writer and I loved it. That's pretty high praise from a self-proclaimed tough book critic!
(I received a complimentary advance reader copy of this book from the author for review purposes).