About the Book:
Author: Cara Lynn James
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2012
Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5
My Thoughts: Eight years ago Katherine Wainwright rebelled against her family, society and her best friend, Andrew and married a man she thought she knew. Coming from a wealthy family from one of the most prosperous in New York society, she eloped with Charles and has lived in Florida ever since. Now her husband’s father has died and she is a widow whose one dream is to see her father-in-laws citrus groves returned to their former glory. She wants to do this for her father-in-law who she loved and because her life – her work in Florida somehow feels like home. When her father and Andrew come to Florida to convince her it’s time to return to New York and her family, Katherine is faced with a decision: Leave everything she has come to love or return to the people she hasn’t stopped loving.
Though I have her debut series on my bookshelf, this work of fiction was the first I’d read of James’. To be honest, regardless of the reservations I ended up with about this story, it will not be the last! Before I was even out of the first chapter, I was enchanted with Katherine’s story. It is an 1800’s fairy-tale that starts out leaving nothing to be desired – whether it be the dashing hero or the sweetness in the affection that steadily builds between the would-be lovers, everything is captivating. In the second half or at the very least fourth of the novel, things start a downward slide that James never really returns from. It was almost as if all the care she had written the story with was forgotten. The same sort of emotions wasn’t driving it. For example, I began to question Katherine’s motives and true feelings: Was she going to stand up for herself? Or would she buckle to her mother’s whims? In my experience, this is never a good thing. Despite what the back cover synopsis would have us believe, this story is not one of a re-kindled romance – although Andrew is a fitting hero and in the beginning, there is no secret in Andrew’s ardor of his childhood friend – but rather one of proper expectations and a “sensible” romance is told as a result.
Beyond Katherine and Andrew’s re-kindled friendship, I was a bit disappointed in the relationship between Katherine and her parents. I understand the expectations of the era but for the story, it read as if there was a price to Mrs. Wainwright’s affection for her daughter and similarly Katherine’s father placed bargaining chips on the table to entice Katherine home for the summer. As a reader, that sort of relationship doesn’t endear characters to me. I appreciate “real” characters because they are stripped down to a level that human nature can relate to instead of being a too-perfect fictional character on a page but these characterizations weren’t the sort I liked. Having said that, A Path Toward Love was a lovely read. Please understand, this rhetoric is just me being (very) persnickety. In the end, if you like this time frame or James, her latest novel is a sweet story of letting go of one’s past.
In Summary: Pretty at the surface, ‘Path’ has more than one flaw but all things considered, it is a sweet one-time read.
With thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for reviewing purposes; My apologies to the publisher and author for the delay in posting this review
Synopsis: Young widow Katherine Osborne returns to her family’s camp on Raquette Lake, determined to live a secluded life. But when her father hires lawyer Andrew Townsend to look into her former husband’s financial affairs, he finds startling irregularities. Will she be honest about her past? Will Andrew confess how dear she is to him?
© Copyright 2011-2012 Dreaming Under the Same Moon / Scribbles, Scripts and Such