|Jilted (David C. Cook, June 2016)|
Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago.
Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.
Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must---once and for all---leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.
Jilted concludes the family saga begun in Jaded, focusing on ex-con Clyde and bitter single mother Lynda. Throughout this series, one of the themes has been how Christians hurt and judge one another and the need for love and forgiveness. This all comes to a head as Lynda, the character most hurt by the Trapp church, finally begins to live again, urged on by her high school friend (and fellow outcast) Clyde. The two develop a sweet romance as they both try to move past the wrongs done to them, though that proves difficult when tragedy strikes and secrets are revealed.
Though Lynda was a minor character in Jaded and Justified, she is perhaps the most important in the whole series, as her expulsion from the Trapp church in the prologue of Jaded was the first outward sign of trouble in the church. Lynda was wholly unlikable in Jaded and only slightly better in Justified, so I was a little hesitant to read a whole book centered around her, even as I understood her importance to the overall story. So I was pleasantly surprised to find myself understanding and sympathizing with Lynda as Jilted unfolded, and I ended up really liking her by the end of the novel.
While Jilted clearly flows out of the first two books, and the experience of reading it is made richer by knowing the background information, Denman wrote the novel in such a way that new readers will have no trouble understanding and appreciating the story. (I would highly recommend reading the first two books prior to Jilted, though, as they're excellent!)
While I didn't find Jilted to be quite as engaging as the previous two in the series, it did touch my emotions in a way that surprised me, and it was a very satisfying story. This book (as well as the whole series) made me consider my own prejudices and spiritual blind spots while enjoying a well-crafted, realistic story. 4-1/2 stars.
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Varina Denman is author of the Mended Hearts series and a native Texan. She spent her high school years in a rural town and now writes stories about the struggles women face in similar small town settings. She and her husband live near Fort Worth, where they enjoy spending time with their five mostly grown children.
Can all things really work together for good, and can the joy of living be found once again? Don't miss one woman's story in book three, Jilted, of Varina Denman's Mended Hearts series. Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.
Celebrate the release of Varina's Jilted by entering to win a $50 gift card.
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Jilted to kick off a summer of reading
- A $50 Kohl's gift card to make your summertime sweet
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."