I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the O'Connor family, but neither could I wait to read this conclusion of Julie's two amazing series! Annie's story tugged at my heart from page one. She'd been dealt a rough hand in many ways - losing first her mother then her father, being moved in with a cold, spinster aunt, as well as, being uprooted from all that was familiar. The depth of love she showed to her little sister deeply warmed my heart. Plus, I totally adored Annie's spunk & that she wasn't afraid to stand up to Steven despite the longings of her heart. She remained strong, determined, & faithful even when facing self-sacrificing, heartbreaking decisions & brought joy & warmth to two lonely, hurting souls. Julie expertly separated fleshly desires from the desire to be a better person in Steven's journey. Sean's tough but loving talks with his kid brother brought me to tears, & every scene with Emma and Sean made me sigh with deep heart contentment. I loved all of the O'Connor couples, but Emma & Sean remain my very favorite. The way Julie brought Faith back to the forefront in this book felt like a sweet friend's "goodbye hug," & the epilogue was absolute, divine, soul-satisfying perfection! Sigh â™¥
I have followed the O'Connors since day one.... Each character has enriched my life in a way I never thought literary fiction ever could. Each O'Connor portrays the struggles that most- if not all- of us go through. And, at the end of each book, I took away some of the best inspiration I have ever found. I found myself laughing, crying, rejoicing, and admonishing the O'Connors as they grew up, made mistakes, discovered what real love is, and found happiness in the midst of turmoil. But, this last book of the series is hands down my favorite because it's real, genuine situations without the shallow, sugar-coated characters that seem to traipse across our "literature" today. They make mistakes, but they discover a power that is greater than all of it. I definitely recommend this series to all of my friends and to you guys, as well!