In The Story Keeper, Jen Gibbs had escaped an almost cultish group in the Appalachian hills of NC to go to college and then work in publishing. An old unsigned manuscript led her back to her roots, to a reclusive author, and to a discovery of a people called the Melungeons.
In this book. the reclusive author, Evan Hall, writes a bestseller about the Melungeons and Jen serves as his editor. They develop a relationship, and when the book comes out, Evan insists that Jen accompany him on the book tour, which takes them across Europe. When he wants to tie the knot in Paris, Jen pulls away. An urgent situation with her sister brings her back to the States.
Her youngest sister, Lily, had come out from the same group that Jen had, but without burning her bridges. She wants to become a pharmacist and go back to man the only pharmacy in the area she comes from. But along the way she researches her family history, trying to find out whatever became of the mother who left the family years ago, and discovers a half-sister that no one in the family knew of. Lily is determined to look up this sister, and Jen decides to accompany Lily for her safety and protection. They end up in the Outer Banks of NC (the setting for the first book in the series, The Prayer Box), and come across some of its characters. While searching, Jen wrestles with her reasons for hesitating to marry Evan and wonders if she can overcome them. But what they find in the Outer Banks changes their lives in many ways.
I enjoyed this little book. It was fun to see what became of the characters from The Story Keeper and to see the tie-ins with the other books. The faith element is not quite as obvious in this one, but it’s there. I actually ended up reading the last book in the series out of order before this one, so I’ll discuss it tomorrow.