Remember Me

Deborah Bedford, Author . Warner Faith $12.99 (294p) ISBN 978-0-446-69043-0

In a novel that's far subtler than run-of-the-mill Christian fiction, bestselling author Bedford (If I Had You ) introduces us to Sam Tibbits, a beautifully drawn bachelor pastor who is sure to give Mitford's Father Tim a run for his money. As a boy in the late 1960s, Sam summered with his family at Piddock Beach in the Pacific Northwest. There, he became good friends—actually, more than friends—with a girl named Aubrey. They corresponded during the fall and winter and always looked forward to seeing each other again when summer rolled around. But during college, Sam arrived at Piddock Beach to find that Aubrey and her family had up and moved, leaving no forwarding address. The heartbroken Sam got on with his life, though he never married. As the novel opens, Sam is a minister who devotes himself wholly to his parish, and to his widowed sister and her son. He's a good pastor, but clearly on the road to burnout. To escape the pressures of his job, Sam returns to Piddock Beach and of course encounters Aubrey. On the surface, this novel explores the well-worn plot line of reconnecting with one's childhood sweetheart. But it's about many other things, too: Vietnam, vocation and the difference between dreams and reality. It's a multilayered, rewarding read. (Nov. 15)