cover image Chasing Down a Dream

Chasing Down a Dream

Beverly Jenkins. Morrow, $14.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-241265-2

Jenkins continues the saga of Henry Adams, Kans.—the historic town settled by former slaves and purchased on Ebay by Bernadine Brown in Bring on the Blessings. Bernadine is back, alongside the eclectic cast of town characters, including a few new residents. In this eighth of the series, the town has to come together to deal with a potentially calamitous embezzlement scandal, new township merging offers, a near shut-down of the town’s only diner, and a cash-strapped wedding for two of Henry Adams’s most adored residents. Although the novel is abuzz with subplots, Bernadine’s longtime neighbor and friend Gemma Dahl occupies the central thread. Gemma’s quiet life is disrupted when she comes across two orphaned children, Lucas and Jaz Herman, stranded on the road after a torrential storm. Gemma is determined to give the kids a home after hearing their horrendous stories of life in the foster system, but is shocked to discover that she cannot foster African-American children due to racial biases within the state’s social services. Heartbroken at being ripped from their new home, Lucas and Jaz start to lose hope that they will ever have a normal family life. In this winsome novel, Jenkins opens up the small, insular town to embrace the dreams of society’s most marginalized. Fans of Jenkins will enjoy the many new plotlines and characters established, and readers new to Henry Adams will be enthralled by Gemma’s story of determination. [em](July) [/em]