Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Date: 24th June 2014
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
On the night her home is consumed by fire, Janine Stoddard finally resolves to leave her abusive husband. While she is reluctant to involve her estranged daughter, she can't resist a chance to see Harmony and baby Lottie before she disappears forever.
Harmony's friend Taylor Martin realizes how much the reunited mother and daughter yearn to stay together, and she sees in Jan a chance to continue her own mother's legacy of helping women in need of a fresh start. She opens her home, even as she's opening her heart to another newcomer, Adam Pryor. But enigmatic Adam has a secret that could destroy Taylor's trust and cost Jan her hard-won freedom.
No River Too Wide by Emilie Richards is #3 in her Goddesses Anonymous series. I love the title of this book because it so aptly denotes the events and themes of this book. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you can find your way through and out. It takes struggle, risk and facing danger but you can swim rather than sink. This book carries a message of hope, yet is very realistic in the reactions of the characters.
Jan is a woman who has been abused by her husband for years, she has protected her children as best she could through the years, now she realizes it is the time to act and leave. She accidentally sets the house on fire the night she leaves. With help from a group of women dedicated to helping abused women she finally reaches the town that her daughter Harmony lives in, and where the Goddesses Anonymous operate. I loved her slow steps to healing, and her enormous act of courage when she is called upon to face a major fear.
Harmony and her daughter Lottie welcome Jan, yet Harmony has some very interesting and totally believable feelings and reactions. It is Taylor, Harmony's friend who gives Jan a home, and so we have the juxtaposition of Taylor and Jan together. In One Mountain Away, Charlotte, Taylor's mother helped out Harmony when she was in difficulty.
Onto the scene comes Adam - is he hero or villain? Is he here for good or something more sinister? There is also a tension throughout the story - where is the abusive husband, will he strike at any moment? I have to say I liked Adam from the beginning, and so does Taylor. However Taylor has always had issues with forgiveness and when it is revealed what Adam is there for, Taylor reacts. I was one of those readers who didn't like Taylor so much in One Mountain Away, but in this book as we walk a little with her, I recognize that she is well on the path to healing, but that there are points of weakness that still call her to greater freedom. There is a small image at the end of the book that I don't want to give away, but I loved the door!
This is a book that will stay with me a long while. The number of women in abusive relationships is no secret throughout the world. Women are still so vulnerable, yet this book shows one woman's small, purposeful steps towards freedom and empowerment. As I put the book away I couldn't help think of the chilling stories coming out of many countries about the treatment of women. Our world has a long road to travel.
Thank you to Emilie Richards for a powerful book, one that helps me see inside the lives of others, and reflects back to me my own. Many messages to ponder. I love the Goddesses Anonymous motto: