The latest title sent to me by Bethany House Publishers for review is the newly-published Contemporary Christian Fiction book Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman.
This novel is about a young woman named Kelli Huddleston, who was told by her father that her mother and two siblings died in a fire when she was just an infant. When her father and step-mother die, she finds herself in a quandary as she discovers pictures and newspaper clippings that indicate her father lied to her.
The book opens up in the past, 26 years before her parents’ deaths. In the scene we find a man named David, flirting with a waitress in a diner, in a tempting situation that we can only think will end up poorly. We find his state of mind and intentions definitely conflicted when the book tells us, “Okay, he should probably stop coming here so often. Maybe just tomorrow, and then he would stop.”
Then the book brings us to the present day, where we learn of Kelli’s discovery of the betrayal from her father. Kelli leaves her home in search of a family she never got to know, in the town they now live.
Throughout this story Kelli not only learns about her former family, but helps Kenmore, a man who was ready to close the doors of his store in the small town of Shoal Creek, Tennessee. While there is initial suspicion about her from Kenmore’s son Shane, Kelli and Shane end up becoming friends.
Kelli learns more about what happened with her father and step-mother Mimi from her step-grandmother Opal, who sends Kelli letters written by Mimi years ago.
Kelli brings new life to the store, grows to like Shane, and meets her mother, brother, and sister, eventually revealing who she is to all of them. By the end of the book, Kelli must make the decision whether to return to her home, and whether she will continue being involved in the lives of the people of Shoal Creek, Tennessee.
This was a good read, with the message of the power of hope and redemption, found in an unusual situation. I will definitely read more novels by Kathryn Cushman, and recommend this one to all.
I give this one a “thumbs up”.