Cover Image: Heirlooms


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Member Reviews

Ah, how can I describe a book as beautiful as this one? If you're someone who loves the beauty of nature and incorporating it into your every day life, this is the book for you. Through the author's prose, you will be able to smell the sweet fragrances of flowers and the lovely aromas of fresh garden vegetables cooking in a quaint kitchen.

You will also find yourself immersed in two different worlds - one of a Korean mother and American nurse in 1950s America, as well as one of a young girl in present day trying to carve her own path in life. You will also find yourself filled with compassion toward those who have been given a different path to travel in life, whether due to disability or because of the heartache they've endured.

It has been many years since Sandra's last fiction release, but I can assure you, the wait has been well worth it. If you follow Sandra on social media, you know that she has a deep love for the Whidbey Island setting and all the culture surrounding it. This affection shines through on each page through these characters that you want to wrap in a warm hug. As you read, you will instantly see the care and thoughtfulness that went into this story. Here's hoping that we will have another novel as beautiful as this one very soon!
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This book was great. I loved how it flipped back and forth between the past and present. I liked seeing how common things like gardening and cooking connected the generations. I also liked seeing how Cassidy and Grace were able to, from the clues left by their grandmothers, learn what their secrets were and why they kept them secret all that time. I also liked how the community came together because of Helen and Eunhee sharing with them through out the years. This book was a very emotional and touching read for me and I really enjoyed reading it.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.
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Grandmothers, mothers and daughters – please read this book. What a beautifully written novel. Byrd captured my attention easily in both time settings by really focusing on friendships, family, and community. She touched on difficult topics with softness and poise. And the way she brings it all together is just…..emotional and wonderful.

Although there were times I felt the story was a teeny bit slow for my liking, it was usually within a few chapters that Byrd was able to snag my attention again with a new discovery or life lesson to learn. It was especially interesting to see how two generations of friends stayed together. Euhnee and Helen, and later Cassidy and Grace. As Cassidy and Grace unearthed the treasures in the chest in the attic, I felt like I was right there with them, perhaps learning about my own family. Or at least wanting to 😉

This book is filled with emotion, so be sure to have some tissues nearby. But all in all, this is a novel I will be coming back to for years to come. Heirlooms not only has an exquisite cover, it has an exquisite story. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Heirlooms explores forgotten and remembered legacies and sustaining friendships through the lens of Korean-American relationships. The historical timeline centers around two widows, one of whom was from Korea, and the contemporary timeline centers around their descendants. I was eager to try this book when I found out it involved Asian characters and had a dual-timeline. 

But some things brought down my rating. The dialogue, for instance, did seem stilted and unnatural to the characters, and several scenes, such as that when Helen and Eunhee went to get their hair done, didn't appear to add to the story or move it forward at all. It affected the pacing as well, and the story seemed to drag in places. And I didn't connect to the characters much, but when characters did catch my interest, they were mostly side characters like Johanna and the neighbor with the chickens.  

That said, this book might certainly appeal to those who enjoy complicated familial relationships, Pacific Northwestern settings, and things in relation to the military. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. A positive review was not required.
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Heirlooms is a dual timeline novel set on Whidbey Island, Washington. In the past timeline, Navy widow Helen Devries lives alone in the house she bought with her husband and works as a nurse at the nearby Navy hospital. She befriends Choi Eunhee, a Korean woman who married one of Helen’s husband’s friends.

In the present, timeline Cassidy Quinn has inherited her grandmother’s property on Whidbey Island, but the house and property have fallen into disrepair. Worse, she needs to bring the garden back to life again and earn an income, or she will be forced to sell the property to pay the outstanding property taxes.

I found the past timeline more positive and uplifting than the modern timeline, which means I definitely enjoyed the past story most. (I know that’s a bit ambiguous, but want to avoid spoilers. If you read Heirlooms, you can tell me whether you agree or not).

The main reason I enjoyed the past story was because of the way it showed two cultures, American and Korean. I particularly enjoyed the friendship between Helen and Eunhee, and the way Eunhee was able to introduce Helen to Korean food and culture … and to God. That, to me, was the strength of the novel.

Heirlooms is an excellent example of a dual timeline novel. Even though I preferred the past timeline, the present and past timelines are both compelling in their different ways.

Recommended for fans of dual timeline Christian fiction, and those who enjoy exploring other cultures through fiction.

Thanks to Tyndale House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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As a dual timeline, I am often drawn to the historical timeline (or the earlier timeline) and this book was no different. The friendship of two Navy widows, Helen and Choi Eunhee. There was an aspect of family secrets and Helen's granddaughter, Cassidy, piecing together the past as she inherits Helen's home and land. Cassidy is also best friends with Choi Eunhee's granddaughter Grace. 
I did not know that the book would have a Christian aspect to it. It was woven throughout the book and didn't particularly appeal to me personally, but if you enjoy books that include that lens, you would enjoy this book even more. I also did find that the writing for some of the modern day storyline was a bit took detailed (real estate, home repair, inheritance) that I zoned out a bit at those parts. 
Overall, a nice book and a sad, but ultimately uplifting, story.
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Ich habe mich für dieses Buch interessiert, da es eine Top Pick bei Publishers Weekly war, habe es deshalb angefragt, aber übersehen, dass es ein Roman mit zwei Zeitlienie ist. Das ist leider nicht mein Geschmack und ich werde das Buch daher nicht rezensieren.
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Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd is a fascinating novel of women left widowed by military husbands. It is a novel told in different time periods and by different generations. I loved the storytelling in this book and the message of it. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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Heirlooms, by Sandra Byrd, is a profoundly touching novel. Set on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington, this beautifully written dual-timeline story is absolutely captivating as it tells the story of four women and the connections that unite them even across generations. The riveting plot alternates easily between two points in time, one in the past and one in the present. These storylines find connections in scenes of family, adversity, longing, friendship, hope, and redemption. 

With undeniable talent, Ms. Byrd  has crafted a moving story that highlights human heartbreak, perseverance, resiliency, and compassion. Scenes of loss, despair, and uncertainty find an emotional balance in the honest moments of hope and redemption that are supported by gentle reminders that healing and restoration can be nurtured in the presence of love, kindness, and grace.

The beauty of this novel lies within the well-developed characters who are truly authentic and vulnerable. They often show themselves to be thoughtful, resilient, and determined. Their will to fight for significance and survival is utterly compelling. Their questions, their insecurities, their fears, and their needs are certainly believable. When confronted with misfortune, malice, and doubt, their struggle is genuine and raw. Though they are challenged by events that test their beliefs and threaten their goals, their faith endures. Again and again, their tenacity and fortitude is inspiring. Despite unexpected circumstances and surprising discoveries, they display courage and determination to help one another to restore a sense of purpose, hope, and belonging.

Ms. Byrd is a genuinely talented writer and storyteller. In Heirlooms, she offers the reader a surprising, enriching, and memorable novel. Page after page, it is a tender and heartfelt story of loss, love, faith, and family. As it explores relevant themes like inclusion, racism, and community, it also reveals the power of love, friendship, and perseverance. Every minute spent reading this book is a thoughtful, immersive, and meaningful experience. I recommend it wholeheartedly.  

*I was given a copy of this book by the author/publisher and NetGalley. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.
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Anytime I start a new dual timeline novel, I go in a bit apprehensively. It's not that I don't enjoy them, I do--- if they are done well. Not all are. I often find that either the back and forth can cause some confusion, or I will only connect with one of the storylines and find myself rushing through the other to try to get to the part I like. I had not read anything by Sandra Byrd in the past, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. 

Thankfully, this was one that was done well. The writing was done very well, drawing readers into the stories past and present. This was not always the easiest, most lighthearted read with it's topics of grief and loss, but it also has a beautiful message of friendship, faith and healing. This was definitely a story with so much heart, and had me looking forward to checking out more from the author. If you enjoy a good dual timeline novel, this is certainly one worth checking out.

**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are my own.
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A beautiful story with duel timelines that really show unity amongst people when facing times of difficultly.  The emphasis on family heirlooms and what generations pass down to each other was heart warming.  Heirlooms don’t always have to be tangible things and this is a sincere reminder of that.  

This story instantly had me hooked purely based on the setting of the novel.  Being a military spouse myself I spent four years living on Whidbey Island. The imagery and detail given on the setting and lifestyle on the island was reminiscent of my time spent there. 

I also enjoyed the soft faith elements.  Overall a wonderful story focusing on women and friendships.
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I picked up “Heirlooms” by Sandra Byrd on a whim. I’d never read her work before, and I hadn’t heard anything about this latest release. With no preconceived notions or expectations, I read the opening lines and was immediately transported to the 1950’s by historical details that evoked nostalgia for a time I’d never experienced. Then the characters stepped onto the page—diverse, endearing, complex—and the story seemed to shift from black and white to brilliant technicolor.  As the daughter of a former special education teacher, I was particularly touched by the thoughtful and heart-felt depiction of characters with autism and down syndrome. 

“Heirlooms” is a story of friendship. A story of family and legacy. One with rich spiritual themes. More than once, I was moved to tears by poignant scenes of grief where the characters were allowed to ask tough questions and weren’t given blithe answers. Instead, Byrd digs deep into the heart of her characters’ pain, sorting through the soil of raw emotion and planting roots of truth, so they can grow and reemerge into the sunlight with newfound beauty and hope. 

If you’re a fan of women’s fiction and dual time narratives, you’re sure to agree that “Heirlooms” is a beautiful bouquet of a book! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own honest opinion.
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Set in modern day and midcentury Whidbey Island, Washington, Heirlooms focuses on life-sustaining friendships between women, fraught mother-daughter relationships, and the way women push through loss. The heirlooms of the title refer both to heirloom plants—gardening is central to this novel—and precious objects handed down through generations. 
At each turn when the main characters face problems that threaten to undermine their well-being, events swing in their favor, creating an unswervingly optimistic novel that at times feels bland and tensionless as a result. For readers looking for an uplifting story that depicts strong Christian beliefs as a saving force, this will serve well.
One of the primary friendships of the novel, between a Korean war bride and a White nurse, both Navy widows, deals with issues of racism against Koreans within the military base of Whidbey Island and beyond. The novel also depicts an episode of verbal sexual harassment of the nurse in a Navy hospital work environment.
The opening sentences of the novel provide a good taste for its historical setting and benign tone and style: “Helen Devries carefully removed her nurse’s cap, fluffing her platinum backcombed bouffant, crackling the Aqua Net lacquering it in place. On the television in the back of the living room, Elvis offered a flirty smile and almost wink as he was measured for his uniform.”
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Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd is a beautifully written split-time novel. I loved the setting of Whidbey Island both in the late 1950s and the present day. The characters were very well developed and I loved the plot. I also enjoyed finding out what the true Heirlooms were. If you haven't read it yet you should add it to your TBR pile.

So fix yourself some tea and a plate of cookies while you prepare for a fabulous story.

I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.
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Charming and inspiring:
What an amazing book! It captures your heart, takes it on a delightful journey and then releases it leaving you feeling lighter and refreshed. It brought tears to my eyes but was still fun and inspiring too.
There were dual timelines connecting two generations of strong, resilient women and it flowed smoothly between the different stories. I liked that there were also some elements of mystery as the younger generation tried to piece together happenings of the past. I really appreciated the message of hope, community and trusting God with all our tomorrows. 
I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
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The dual timelines blend together, giving this story a sweeping, epic saga feel, yet the pages flip along with the speed of a beach read. The language, while lovely and descriptive, doesn’t slow the book but fleshes out the scenes with beautiful imagery. The historical timeline friendship is real and true to its time period, while the newer timeline bounces along through the heroine’s bumps as she struggles to find her place in a world with different stakes, but very similar to her grandmother’s. The theme of heirlooms and passed-down traditions blend seamlessly between the two settings. While the grandmother’s legacy focuses more on flowers and gardening, Choi Eunhee’s traditions are more food-based. Both women encounter choices and risks that are reflected in their granddaughter’s lives. As a flower-loving girl myself, I enjoyed learning about gardening hints the author supplied while weaving an entrancing story. 
There isn’t any violence in this story and mild Christian themes are woven throughout without any kind of overbearingness or preachiness. The romance is very lowkey and mild. 
If you’re in the mood for a dual timeline that explores the relationship between female friendships and the bond between families, then Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd is a must-read story!
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Prepare to have your heartstrings tugged! In fact by chapter thirteen you're probably going to need a tissue. Sandra Byrd has become known for her stirring tales and in my opinion, Heirlooms, shoots to the top of the list.

The story begins in the late fifties and takes place on the beautiful Whidbey Island just off the coast of Washington state. There we meet Helen and Eunhee. They are two young widows that are as different as can be but through time they come to realize that their differences are also their strengths. 

Later in the story time shifts to the present day and we meet their granddaughters Cassidy and Grace. Both girls were very close with their grandmothers and I venture to guess they thought they knew almost everything about them. They didn't. In fact the two grandmothers shared a secret that sent shockwaves through the girls.

This was such a beautiful story of love and friendship. I will never look at my Rose of Sharon bush or my old handwritten recipe cards the same. I'm neither a foodie nor a gardener but I have an appreciation of both and this story just enhanced that appreciation. 

Heirlooms is definitely a story not to be missed. Treat yourself with this one. It would of course be a lovely gift as well.

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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I thought I would like this one more than I did, since it had the historical aspect, as well as the food/small business. I loved the historical part of the story! The modern day heroine just drove me nuts with how wish washy she was about saving the farm.
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5 stars, personally, and so many thoughts. 😭 

About this book:

“Answering a woman’s desperate call for help, young Navy widow Helen Devries opens her Whidbey Island home as a refuge to Choi Eunhee. As they bond over common losses and a delicate, potentially devastating secret, their friendship spans the remainder of their lives.
After losing her mother, Cassidy Quinn spent her childhood summers with her gran, Helen, at her farmhouse. Nourished by her grandmother’s love and encouragement, Cassidy discovers a passion that she hopes will bloom into a career. But after Helen passes, Cassidy learns that her home and garden have fallen into serious disrepair. Worse, a looming tax debt threatens her inheritance. Facing the loss of her legacy and in need of allies and ideas, Cassidy reaches out to Nick, her former love, despite the complicated emotions brought by having him back in her life.
Cassidy inherits not only the family home but a task, spoken with her grandmother’s final breaths: ask Grace Kim—Eunhee’s granddaughter—to help sort through the contents of the locked hope chest in the attic. As she and Grace dig into the past, they unearth their grandmothers’ long-held secret and more. Each startling revelation reshapes their understanding of their grandmothers and ultimately inspires the courage to take risks and make changes to own their lives.
Set in both modern-day and midcentury Whidbey Island, Washington, this dual-narrative story of four women—grandmothers and granddaughters—intertwines across generations to explore the secrets we keep, the love we pass down, and the heirlooms we inherit from a well-lived life.”

Series: As of now, no. A stand-alone novel. 

Spiritual Content- Scriptures are mentioned, remembered, & quoted; Prayers & Thanking God; Talks about God, being mad at Him, those in the Bible, & callings; ‘H’s are not capitalized when referring to God; Helen isn’t a believer, wonders that “if God saw the future, it seemed problematic that he didn’t head off some of the troubles at the pass”, is witnessed to by others and notices that they have something she does not and wants to fill the hole in her life (*Spoiler* [At about 3/4 of the story, she prays and Eunhee says she sees Him in her *End of Spoiler* (hide spoiler)]); Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers, praying, & blessings over food; Mentions of churches, drawing on strength by going to church and being with other believers, church going, pastors/preachers, & a message at a funeral; Mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; Mentions of those & events in the Bible (Job and his story, the parable of the blind man, & Esther); Mentions of Heaven; Mentions of Christians & being one; A few mentions of blessings; A couple mentions of a Christian mixer; A mention of Eve from the Bible (in regards to apples): A mention of missionaries; 
*Note: Mentions of Greek gods & goddesses (including a story about the Trojan War starting from an apple and Greek gods); A few mentions of the Korean holiday Chuseok when Koreans give thanks to their ancestors for a good harvest (Eunhee says she thanks God and does not worship her ancestors, though she is grateful for their sacrifices); A couple mentions of a misunderstanding about “Cinn (cinnamon) rolls” being mistaken as “Sin rolls” and wondering if you must confess and repent; A couple mentions of thinking that a husband would worship the ground his wife walked on if it wasn’t idolatry; A mention of a quote saying that “Fate” sent someone lemons. 

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘stupid’; A bit of eye rolling & sarcasm; Seeing the death of two loved ones (one peacefully, not violent and preparing for the other); Getting stuck in quicksand and thinking you might drown (up to semi-detailed); Helen smokes a bit at the beginning (at one point, breathing the smoke soothes her anxiety); Cassidy socially drinks (beer at a restaurant and wine after dinner/with dinner) with some friends (it’s causally mentioned and written as a normal thing to do); Mentions of wars, deaths, & fighting; Mentions of deaths & a death from a training accident; Mentions of injuries, pain, blood/bleeding & broken bones (up to semi-detailed, written in a medical way); Mentions of prejudice & racism (including an “Asian flu” going around and a Korean woman being blamed for a death, a Dutch church not being welcoming to a non-Dutch person, mixed raced family being shamed, & some in the 1950s talking bad about a child with disabilities—more on that in the Note section); Mentions of alcohol & socially drinking; Mentions of smoking & cigarettes; Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of rumors & gossip; A few mentions of DUIs and divorces; A few mentions of eavesdropping; A couple mentions of a mother dying from breast cancer; A couple mentions of a physically & verbally abusive father; A couple mentions of possibly killing someone in a car because of their bad driving; A couple mentions of throwing up; A couple mentions of the smells of urine & dirty diapers; A mention of Hitler’s first victims being intellectually and physically disabled people; A teasing mention of hiding bodies; A mention of a crime; A mention of jealousy; A mention of a man teasingly saying that he would leave his wife for a woman who is a good cook;
*Note: A doctor and orderly are bluntly rude about those with disabilities (including saying that it would be better if the baby died as they won’t have a meaningful life, that the child is damaged, that is would be best for the mothers to forget she had the child, blaming the mother for the baby’s conditions, that the babies are abnormal and don’t have feelings, and about those being “worthy” to have surgeries and limited resourced for health), this all great upsets Helen; Helen visits an institution and is wrecked by what she sees, hears and the lack of care the people there have for those who need compassion and care; Both Helen and Eunhee are grieving the loss of their husbands; Mentions of actresses, TV shows, singers, & songs (Elizabeth Taylor, American Bandstand, The Lawrence Welk Show, As the World Turns, Petticoat Junction, Elvis, Doris Day, Connie Francis, and Nu Shooz); Mentions of brand names, stores, & items (Folger’s, Lipton, Sears, Avon, Ray-Ban, Kodak, Vicks VapoRub, Johnson’s baby products, Mirro waterless cookpot, Chanel, iPads, Sharpie, Rubik’s Cube, Nintendo Switch, Corelle dishes, 7UP, Bialetti espresso machine, Macy’s, and Sunshine Hi Ho crackers); Mentions of websites & social media sites (Google, Facebook, FaceTime, LinkedIn, Instagram, The Knot, Etsy, Zoom, & GoFundMe); Mentions of The Lion King movie & quotes from it; Mentions of car brands; A couple mentions of aliens & UFOs.

Sexual Content- Two not-detailed kisses, a barely-above-not-detailed kiss, and a semi-detailed kiss; Some Touches, Embraces, Snuggling, Hand Holding, & Tingles; Blushes; A bit of Noticing & Smelling (& wanting to run your fingers through someone’s hair); Helen’s (married) boss at the hospital is overly friendly to her, touches her thigh, and propositions her to have an affair with him (called a “secret arrangement”, but she is very uncomfortable with his attention and firmly tells him no; he mentions that him and his wife are “not together in the most important ways” and Helen feels bad for his wife who is married to a man “who would not reserve himself for his wife alone”); Mentions of the possibility of a woman having a child out-of-wedlock & other unwed mothers; Mentions of dating, dates, boyfriends, exes, & break-ups; Mentions of sending mixed signals; Mentions of winks & blushes; A few mentions of kisses & kissing; A few mentions of thinking that a young woman is moving in with a guy (she’s not); A couple mentions of unwelcome propositions from male bosses & one’s philandering; A mention of jealousy; A mention of a guy teasingly pretending to vamp; Very light love & the emotions;
*Note: At the beginning, Helen longs to have a baby and is sad about it not happening; Mentions of labor, pain, & blood/bleeding (up to semi-detailed, written in a medical-based way); A few mentions of women’s periods; A couple mentions of breastfeeding & the baby having trouble latching onto the mother’s nipple. 

-Helen Devries, age 27
-Cassidy Quinn, age 28 
P.O.V. switches between 3rd person P.O.V. of Helen & 1st person of Cassidy 
Dual-Time Period: 1958 & Present day
464 pages

Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- One Star
Early High School Teens- Three Stars 
Older High School Teens- Four Stars 
My personal Rating- Five Stars

{ Add a ½ star for older girls interested in Korean culture. }
{ Add a ½ star for those with interest in working with those with special needs.}

The minute I saw this book featured Korean and Korean-American characters, I was instantly excited. I’ve been learning Korean for the last five years and it’s a language and culture that I love. It’s always been in the back of my mind, though, (some days in the front of my mind) that my love for Korean and my interest in Christian Fiction have never been able to overlap. 

Until this book. 

My heart. This book had my heart—my passions—in it. 

Not only did this book have about the beautiful Korean language and Korean traditions, it had a ton of gardening and growing flowers to bring others joy, and then also about advocating for those who are differently abled with having characters who have Down Syndrome and Autism. I loved seeing the message of hope and having hope weaved through both time periods. 

I haven’t read many dual-time period novels but all the ones I remember reading, I didn’t enjoy them because how I would be in one story/time and then the next chapter I would be in another, and this would continue back-and-forth for the whole book. But with “Heirlooms” we spent a few chapters with each set of characters before changing which made the typical brunt of switching way less noticeable. I would be a bit sad each time when it would switch, but I still liked both a lot for different reasons—the 1950s time due to Helen and Eunhee and then all the gardening and caring with Cassidy. 

Overall, this book was a beautiful story to me. I loved all these messages and topics, how important the friendship aspects were, the writing style, the faith content (particularly how some of the characters witnessed their faith to others by their actions, though overall I would have liked a bit more faith content, personally), the digital marketing/tech parts, and light romance (which was nowhere near the focus of the book as they were both growing and learning). I cried at multiple parts because of these messages and how much I was enjoying the story with all these elements that are so near and very dear to my heart. 

(Note on ratings for the target ages of BFCG, ages 9-19: The only two things I wasn’t a big fan of are reflected in the ratings for the target ages of this site but did not affect my personal rating for this book. 1.) Cassidy and a couple of her friends they socially drink (beer at a restaurant and wine at night) and it’s casually mentioned, but it’s up to each family’s opinion on those handful of parts being okay or not. 2.) Another would be that in the 1950s time, Helen’s boss at the hospital propositions her to having an affair with him (the word is never said) and she is uncomfortable with him being near him and tells him no, so that element is nipped in the bud (pun intended) about half-way through.)

Link to review:

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Tyndale) for this honest review.
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this story has a dual timeline, set during the Korean war, easy to follow the timelines, enjoyed the story.
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