Overall, this was a sweet story. I was intrigued by the premise of a man fighting to protect a woman’s children outside of the typical romance storyline. Yes, there was some romance, but it was gentle and woven into the story in a way that didn’t take central stage. Wade was a strong character trying to do the right thing and yet still sometimes questioning if it really was the right thing. I loved seeing him with Starr’s kids and how they all related to each other.
Because of the cover synopsis, I knew things could not go on as happily as they began. The tragedy was definitely a tragedy in so many ways—for everyone except Starr, although death scenes in the POV of the character who is dying always have the potential to be a bit strange, so be aware of that if you’re a highly sensitive reader. Wade’s struggle to help the children cope while just trying to make it through each day was very well written and so heartrending to read, especially when all his hard work seemed so much in vain. I loved that he leaned on the Lord through those times even though he questioned what was happening and if he could bear it.
Unfortunately, the ending fell rather flat for me. I was definitely happy with the outcome, don’t get me wrong, but the way it came about struck me as very anticlimactic and not what I was hoping for at all. I wanted to see Wade in a more active hero role at the climax, especially for all the buildup that came before it. There was also some confusion over the actions and role of a supporting character, although I was glad to see a real salvation arc rather than just a vague acknowledgement of a higher power. Despite a few ethical quandaries and a lack of characters actually turning to God’s Word for guidance and comfort, the Christian element of this story was strong.
My heart goes out to real-life children who are caught in the midst of situations like this. I am so thankful that God is a “father to the fatherless” and that, as this book reminds us, he sees every one of his little “sparrows.” Recommended to readers who like clean stories of faith and family with a bit of legal tension thrown in for good measure.