In Hurricane Season by Laura K. Denton, Betsy and Jenna grew up as very different sisters. Their parents were both professionals and distant. Betsy was the responsible one who did all the right things. Jenna was free-spirited, willful, and apt to make a mess of things. But they loved each other fiercely, and Betsy was Jenna’s greatest advocate and protector.
As adults, Betsy married dairy farmer Ty, and they work together to make a go of the business and home that had been passed down through generations in Alabama. Their biggest sorrow is their inability to have children.
Jenna is a single mom to two young girls and a coffee shop manager. An old friend urges Jenna to go to an artist’s retreat in Florida to revive her dormant love of photography. At first it seems impossible. But a scholarship and her sister’s agreement to watch the girls for two weeks enable Jenna to go.
Betsy’s fragile peace with her childlessness is threatened by having two children full time, but she thinks she can hold on for two weeks. But then Jenna calls. She has an opportunity to stay past the initial two weeks, possibly even for the rest of the summer.
Besides the potential storms brewing internally, a hurricane threatens the Gulf of Mexico.
The point of view shifts back and forth between Betsy, Ty, and Jenna. Their current circumstances and their past histories are shaped by their perspectives and personalities. Probably no one person has the entire perspective of a family. We need each other’s viewpoints and narratives to understand the whole.
I enjoyed each sister’s bumpy journey. My mind raced ahead to different ways the plot might go, but it ended up working our differently than I had thought it would—a good thing!
When I bought this book, I thought it was Christian fiction. Though there are a few mentions of God, prayer, church, etc., I can’t say a faith message was overt. For that reason, I’d label it inspirational fiction.
This is the second of four novels by USA Today best-selling author Denton. Have you read any of her work? What did you think?
(Sharing with Books You Loved, Booknificent Thursday)
I have read all of her novels. The latest, A Summer House, is my favorite. I agree with your assessment of whether it is Christian or inspirational. It is published by a CF publisher (Thomas Nelson), but like all her books, there is no overt Christian message. More of a worldview. Thomas Nelson seems to be going that way more and more. I am currently reading a novel published by them that has “language” in it. It is written by an Australian author — not sure if that makes a difference in cultural norms. In any event, I still appreciate great writing. I just put a disclaimer in my reviews.
I read this one and remember enjoying it. Though when I reread my review, I had the same thought as you, it wasn’t overtly Christian fiction but more inspirational. Good story though.
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