I have to start this off by saying this isn’t Lisa Wingate’s latest book (that would be Never Say Never) and it’s not exactly a book review. It’s more of a “God hit me with a book” review, because I actually think He opened a window in heaven and threw that book at my head.
Lauren Eldridge and Nate Heath are both having trouble letting go of the past. Lauren can’t shed the guilt of one tragic night, while Nate remains tethered to a childhood that was its own version of tragic. The couple meet and bond on a would-be movie set, where Lauren has been asked to soften (and essentially woo) a frightened former racehorse, and Nate has been asked (some might say forced?) to write a screenplay for an equally broken actor. Naturally, these two are drawn to each other like flies to honey (as they might say in Daily). And I love the way Lisa Wingate plays their relationship. It’s equal parts caution and attraction, and she walks a tightrope between the two so well, that I believed every ounce of how the story played out. In three words: it was beautiful.
But where God gave me a lump on the head was with Lauren. I was reading along about her, totally getting her fear and her guilt, when it hit me that all she had to do was shed the past that she wore like a coat around her. She pulled it tight and sort of hid from the world in it, trying to become somebody she wasn’t, trying to totally leave the “old” her behind, even forgetting the good parts of her life before the tragedy. She tried to be an entirely new person, and it wasn’t working. It hit me that part of the reason I had trouble letting go of some things God delivered me from was because I hadn’t shed them completely. I still acted as though they were part of my DNA today. Yes, they are part of my past. Yes, they have made me who I am and I don’t want to forget them, but those things are no longer a living, breathing part of me. They no longer control me. They no longer get a say in how I live my life day to day. And while I sat there reading, it felt like God pulled that ugly coat off of my shoulders. Amazing…
Grab the book. It’s a beautiful freedom story for Nate and Lauren, and a sweet growing relationship between them. (I actually sat straight up and pumped my fist at the height of the story. Yes, I did…) And if you’re struggling with a weight from the past, let God speak to you between the lines… you never know what you’ll lose, and for sure you’ll gain more than you ever dreamed