cover image The Florence Legacy

The Florence Legacy

Lauraine Snelling. FaithWords, $15.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-4789-2012-0

In this inspiring standalone from Snelling (A Time to Bloom), a woman grapples with the death of her friend. Breeanna Lindstrom used to meet each month with Jade and three other friends she had met at a writers’ conference, and they often discussed traveling to Italy together. However, after Jade dies from brain cancer, Breeanna struggles not to resent God for her loss. The surviving members of the writers’ group discover that Jade left each of them $10,000 to pay for their Italian getaway, but the other three are unable to go because of other commitments. Then, Breeanna attends another funeral for a friend’s husband, where she connects with a man her friend had tried to set her up with years earlier. They hit it off and stay in touch after Breeanna finally decides to visit Italy, where she learns to trust God even in times of mourning. The Florence scenes sumptuously evoke the city’s old-world splendor (“Bree felt like she was inhaling centuries past. Lit candles at the altar, lemon cleaning wax, a mustiness of ages”), and Christians will find the meditations on keeping one’s faith in times of grief uplifting. It adds up to a powerful meditation on navigating one’s relationship with God after devastating loss. (Aug.)