Sunday, April 16, 2017

{Book Review} "To the Farthest Shores" by Elizabeth Camden

Rating: 3.5/5

Ryan Gallagher spent six years serving his country by carrying out a top-secret mission. All army nurse Jenny Bennet knows is that Ryan broke his promise to her. From her point of view, that's all that matters. When Ryan reappears at the Presidio military base where Jenny works, Jenny is torn between hating him and wanting to forgive him. Ryan's abrupt departure and sudden return throws Jenny's emotions off, and she hates the way he makes her feel sometimes. Ryan returns with many secrets, and Jenny is hesitant to ever trust him again; especially because evidence of Ryan's broken promise is four years old and walks and talks. Is forgiveness really possible in their situation?

Professor Finn Breckenridge is a brilliant, reckless man--but he's Ryan's only hope at staying in America rather than being sent back to Japan. If Ryan can prepare Finn to pass special tests, Ryan can stay in the States and Finn will take over the mission. If Finn isn't capable, Ryan has to go in his place. More than anything, Ryan needs Finn to succeed--and he needs Jenny's help to make Finn's success possible. Will Ryan be able to convince Jenny to come to his aid? Ryan intends to mend his relationship with Jenny if he is certain he will be staying in America. Until he knows for sure, he won't revive a relationship with the one woman he regrets hurting. 

This is a beautiful story of forgiveness and grace. The characters are each uniquely flawed and they have to fight for growth and forgiveness in their lives. Ryan and Jenny both have great regrets from their pasts, and they rely on God to move them forward. While the love story is sweet, the story lacks much of an advancing plot--the characters get stuck on the problem of forgiveness, and the whole story just keeps going back to that. It's a constant problem and it keeps the characters from moving forward. Having more plot twists definitely would have made the story more interesting. 

One cool thing about the novel is the information included about pearls. While it seems strange that pearls would play such a large role in a military love story, Camden works it into the story seamlessly and it serves as a great metaphor for the two main characters. Overall, Camden has penned an interesting military love story with characters that are realistic and a main theme that readers can easily relate to.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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