This three-in-one collection is heavy on the hands and the heart. It includes some of Kingsbury's early works: Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy Came to Stay, and On Every Side. Although each story is unique, they share a common thread of a woman who is battling something from the past.
In Where Yesterday Lives, Ellen Barrett goes back to her hometown after the sudden death of her father. There, she must try to reconnect with her estranged sister while mourning the dad she loved. I found this book to be fairly boring. I think it's because most of the book was a walk down memory lane. Also, the siblings fought so much that they all got on my nerves.
When Joy Came to Stay is the best book in the set. Maggie has a perfect life, except she can't forget the child she gave up for adoption. Little Amanda Joy is moved from foster care home to foster care home but never gives up her faith. I liked the raw emotion Maggie felt through her depression and foster kids, both in fiction and real life, hold a special place in my heart. This book is classic Kingsbury: gut-wrenching circumstances and the faith to get through them.
On Every Side pits former friends Faith and Jordan against one another as they battle over a statue of Jesus in a city park. After Jordan and his sister were split up in foster care, Faith lost touch with the boy she had a crush on. Angry at God for how his life has turned out, Jordan works tirelessly to remove Christ from public forms. When he sees Faith again, he can't keep the walls up any more, both literally and figuratively. This story is sweet, and I like the parallels to the story of Joshua.
This collection is a perfect gift for faithful Kingsbury fans, but I must warn you that it gets heavy to hold after a while.
I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts are my own.