Monday, February 21, 2011
Title: Letting Go
Author: Michelle Sutton
Sometimes for dreams to come true, you have to let go . . .
Outwardly Diane Simmons appears to have everything a woman could want. A successful attorney, she’s beautiful and talented, and yet she always seems to be attracted to the wrong men. Longing to be loved for who she is, not for what she looks like, she finally realizes the world’s view of love is totally unrealistic and distorted and gives up on romance. She wants to find a better way but has no clue where to look.
Dave Passel can never father a biological child. He loves his foster son deeply, but something goes terribly wrong before the adoption can be finalized. When the State tries to reunite the child with the birth mother he has never known and the new caseworker accuses Dave of sabotaging visits with her, he hires Diane to fight for him in court. He believes in God’s sovereignty, but bad experiences with his late wife make it hard for him to trust Diane as she advocates for his son. If only he didn’t struggle so much with letting go . . .
Michelle Sutton has done it again. Every time I pick up a book of hers I know I will meet real people facing problems in ways that normal people would. This book tackled huge issues and didn't shy away from the very real consequences that come from them.
Diane is damaged from abuse as a child. She can't relate to men in a normal way. She doesn't feel loved. Once she realizes how much damage she's been doing to other people's relationships (because she's had affairs with married men without knowing it), part of her doesn't think she deserves happiness even if she could find it. She's isolated in life. She doesn't have friends because she treats women as competition. When her situation comes to a crisis, she has to pick a path and that's when everything starts to unravel.
Despite her problems, Diane has a strength about her that keeps her going. She also is compassionate and has a career dedicated to helping children. She gets a lot of satisfaction from that. I felt my heart break for her more than once. I identified with her yearning to be loved and accepted. I think that's a universal desire. It's a mistake to think that those with money and looks are automatically happy and loved. This book is a great example.
Dave is a great dad who is expecting to adopt the foster child he's been raising for nearly two years. Suddenly a wrench is thrown into the works and both father and son are devastated. Add in a new caseworker that doesn't like him... Things go terribly wrong. Dave is normally patient and relaxed but he reacts as I think anyone in this situation might. He's defensive, tense, suspicious... He doesn't lose control and do anything drastic, but it tears his heart out and ours right with it. I think the only thing that keeps him from falling off the edge is his faith.
In this middle of this, the two of them find each other. Neither wants it. Both fight it. Diane is seriously scared of it. The pain and heartache they both have gone through just make their relationship together that much sweeter when it comes.
A side character, Ken, was also well done. He showed all the same realistic elements I love to see in Michelle's characters - especially those that are believers. He was a friend of Diane's that she used to date. He was kind and compassionate, struggled with temptation, but in the end stood strong and was honest about it. The small group Diane visits is not that well developed (mostly because they only played a very small role in the book). Many of them mention pasts, but as for the present, they seemed very sweet and were willing to be a friend to Diane no matter what.
This is a fantastic book and I would suggest you not only to read for yourself, but to share others. :o)
Posted by Margaret Metz at 11:45 PM