Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: Delivered with Love
Author: Sherry Kyle
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Release Date: April 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Fiction
Year/Setting: Present day, Capitola, CA
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Sherry's Website/Blog: web.mac.com/dkyle/Site/Home.html
This is a lovely story that will have you all wanting to pack your belongings in the car and take off on a road trip in order to "begin again" in a whole new world.
Claire James is a woman in need of some serious "air." As we begin our story she’s sitting inside her mother’s tiny, stuffy L.A. apartment listening to the condolences of people who wish her all the best now that her mother has passed away. Claire has spent many of the last few years taking care of her beloved Mom, watching her slowly taken away by a horrific disease. Her sister, Haley, is running around the apartment serving food, meeting the well-wishers, and trying to hold it all together even though she barely helped Claire with their Mom. In fact, Haley has a husband of her own that she barely leaves at all because he’s a complete and utter jerk with a drinking problem that "comes and goes." Claire has been living with Haley, and said husband, but soon after the funeral is over with, her boss fires her and her sister’s husband throws her out.
When the world is falling down around your head, that’s when certain things seem to appear out of nowhere that the Lord, Himself, has put in your way in order to help you move on. While at the funeral, Claire had gone outside for some air and had sat in her mother’s old 72’ VW out in the yard. Inside the glove compartment she found a note signed by ’M’ written to her beloved mother talking about how much he truly loved her and wanted to be by her side forever. The return address on the envelope is a small town in California called Capitola - and that’s JUST where Claire decides it’s time for her to go. She would love nothing more than to meet the man who once held her mother’s heart, and she certainly needs a place to start over, so she hits the road in the VW Bug for the adventure of a lifetime.
As with all adventures, the wrong things begin happening one right after the other. First the VW has a slight accident when she runs it up against a traveling motor home. Their bumper is slightly smashed, but the VW gets the worst of it and has Claire stranded. Thankfully the owners of the "bus" take Claire under their wings and drive her to the campsite they were headed to. Meeting the wonderful Pearl and Harry was just the first step along Claire’s path, as she soon runs into a man by the named of Tom who tows her car and happens to live in Capitola. Hitching a ride, Claire ends up bunking in his house with he and his wife, Nancy - who love each other deeply but are having some difficulties when Claire arrives.
Like six degrees of separation, with the help of Nancy who turns out to be the sister of a woman Claire worked with back in L.A., people begin to come out of the woodwork. Soon Claire finds herself taking care of an elderly woman, which garners her an apartment from a local realtor who has a secret that will literally alter Claire’s life forever. In addition, Claire practically walks into a relationship with a police officer who, it turns out, is her next door neighbor.
The brilliance of this story is how, as Claire’s house of cards falls down, each one is put back up when new characters appear in her life. Each and every one are in some way responsible for Claire getting a new life of freedom, independence, love, friendship, and…a father she never knew she had. The letter from 1972 is a part of the past that's the catalyst that brings Claire a perfect future, and the storytelling wraps readers in so much warmth and inspiration that the tears of joy at the end come from the reader as much as they do the character they’re reading about. A truly lovely novel! Enjoy!
Until next time,
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