The last year has been a whirlwind of trials and triumphs for the Tanner family.
With injuries, near foreclosures, and a family tragedy behind them, Jason Tanner, the oldest of the Tanner children is facing his own struggle after his longtime girlfriend, Ellie Lambert, overhears the secret he’d planned to tell her himself.
Now, in addition to trying to keep his family’s dairy farm sustainable during a hard economic season, Jason is dealing with the heartbreak of Ellie’s decision to end an almost 10-year relationship.
In an effort to bury his feelings, he throws himself into his work on the farm and into volunteering with Spencer Valley’s small volunteer fire company, where tragedy strikes the foundation of his faith during an already vulnerable time.
Ellie has her own challenges to face as she tries to navigate a time of life where her expectations have been turned upside down and shaken out.
As she copes with the decision to walk away from her relationship with the man she saw as her best friend, her flighty, less responsible younger sister shows up to further complicate an already complicated situation.
In the first book in The Spencer Valley Chronicles, The Farmer’s Daughter, we meet the Tanner family, and follow along as Molly and Alex begin their new romance. In this second book, Harvesting Hope, we focus on Molly’s brother Jason and his long time love, Ellie. Although, there is trouble in paradise.
Howeler has a gift for writing characters that could have stepped off the streets of any town and into the pages of a book, they are so real. They are complex, full of life, multi-dimensional, and just have that spark that makes one empathize and relate to the characters they are reading about. Jason’s struggles with his own guilt over a past mistake, the way he throws himself into one thing after another, working hard so he doesn’t have to think too much, Ellie’s devotion to her parents, her frustration with her little feckless sister that fights against her natural protectiveness as an older sister – these are all such humanizing traits that make these characters so real.
I was wrapped up in this story from beginning to end – I never knew what was going to happen from one moment to the next, and there were some situations that kept me on the edge of my seat, anxious for the outcome! There were moments that made me chuckle, others still that made me laugh out loud. And then the scene where three shirtless men have a wood splitting competition – pure masculinity, right there. And the kind that a woman doesn’t mind being witness too, either. The dialogue is so true and raw and honest though at other moments, when they talk about how to keep a farm afloat, mistakes they made that roll over and over in their thoughts, long-ingrained ideas that they can’t shake.
The last half of this book kept me glued to the pages until I was finished. So much happened, so much craziness that I needed to know if everything worked out in the end! I won’t tell you though, you will have to read that for yourself! However through it all, there is the foundation of love. And hope. Love for your spouse, your new love, your old love, your neighbor, you sister, your parents. Your community. Just so much love. And I loved it.
Harvesting Hope is available now on Kindle. If you are looking for a feel good read with wonderful characters, look no further. I greatly enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for the next one!