A GARDEN IN PARIS

Stephanie Grace Whitson, Author . Bethany $12.99 (285p) ISBN 978-0-7642-2935-0

In this enjoyable story, Whitson, the author of a dozen novels, sets out to show that it is never too late for someone to start over. Widow Mary Elisabeth McKibbin Davis is 50 years old, unsure about who she is, and at odds with her adult daughter, Liz. Toying with suicide, Mary instead writes a letter to her first love of 30 years ago, the dashing Frenchman Jean-Marc David, letting him know she'll be in their special garden in Paris on Christmas Eve. Taking as her motto "It is never too late to be what you might have been," Mary leaves Nebraska for France to begin revisiting her past and re-creating her life. Liz rather quickly realizes she needs to reconcile with her mother, and, with her agreeable fiancé, Jeffrey Scott, she chases after Mary. While in Paris, Mary searches for love, faith and her true self, while Liz will have to grapple with a family secret, adeptly concealed until late in the book in a surprising plot twist. Multiple points of view are sometimes a little cumbersome, and there is a bit of theology tossed in about God and accidents that will be problematic for some. However, appealing descriptions, faith renewals and conversions, and travelogueish details about Paris make this a pleasant read for an evangelical Christian audience. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-58547-638-1
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