The Dandelion Field
By Kathryn Springer
This handsome firefighter makes a living coming to the rescue, but Gin doesn't need a man to fight her battles.
After Raine's dad walked out, Ginevieve Lightly never lived in one place too long, a rambling lifestyle that defined her daughter's youth. When their car dies in Banister Falls, Wisconsin, Gin promises Raine they can stay until she finishes her senior year of high school. Gin will do anything to make sure her daughter has a bright future . . . a future that's compromised when Raine reveals she's pregnant.
Dan Moretti has only ever called Banister Falls home. After losing his best friend in a tragic accident, Dan devoted himself to responding to fires, rescuing the helpless, and guiding Cody Bennett, his best friend's son, through life. With Cody being the epitome of the good kid, it was an easy job. Until he says four little words: "The baby is mine."
Knowing gossip of Raine's pregnancy will erupt sooner or later in the small town, Gin's reflex is to grab the suitcase and escape to a new city, a new life. But with each passing day, Gin's feet stay rooted in Banister Falls, and she falls a little more for this local firefighter who shows her not all men abandon women at the first sign of smoke.
As Gin and Dan do the best they can to guide the two teenagers through their early entry into adulthood, they discover together that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.
I'm so glad I chose to read The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer because everything about this story appealed to me, making it one of my favorite reads. Writing style, characterization, dry wit, small-town setting, emotion and message . . . Sometimes everything just clicks for me, and that is certainly the case here. There's a lot of character depth, which is something I always look for. Kathryn's lyrical narrative is conversational and easy to follow, and the storyline reached out to grab me from the very first page. I especially like how Kathryn takes a topic not often seen in Christian fiction and handles it so well. Love for family and extended family, showing children you love them, freedom in Christ - it's all here.
The characters seem so real and easy to connect with. Gin avoided putting down roots, pursuing freedom and a clean slate by seeing what was over the next horizon. "Places, not people, filled the pages of the photo album on their coffee table." Raine is an insecure teen, the product of her mother's rambling lifestyle. Cody, with his strong faith and penchant for rescuing strays, naturally gravitated toward Raine. I loved the way his caring drew her out, and how they shared thoughts and goals that they hadn't been able to express to others.
Dan is one of my favorite fictional leading men - firefighter, local hero, and guided by his faith in God. The romance between Gin and Dan is a strong theme - fun, moving, and with a cute twist at the end. I love these thoughts of Gin's: "Dan's eyes were clear, lit by a source Gin couldn't identify, and filled with gifts she was afraid to accept."
Spiritual themes are beautifully woven throughout, like the fact that even the strongest Christians fall, but what's most important is where we go from there. And as Gin learned, no matter what coping mechanism we might use on a human level, the past still rears its ugly head. True freedom and a new start only come through Christ.
I think it was the significant meaning behind the title, The Dandelion Field, that touched me most, though. You'll have to read the story to understand more, but it reinforces the importance of showing our children how much we love them with an image I don't think I'll ever forget.
Bottom line? I did not want to leave these characters. There's so much room for further story development that I really, really hope Kathryn will give us a sequel. The Dandelion Field is a thoroughly entertaining and inspiring novel, one that I highly recommend - and it's going on my list of 2015 favorite reads!
Kathryn Springer is a USA Today bestselling author. She grew up in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child she spent many hours sitting at her mother's typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books --- which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Kathryn has written nineteen books with close to two million copies sold. She lives with her husband and three children in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Connect with Kathryn online at kathrynspringer.com and Facebook. Also be sure to visit the Litfuse tour page to learn more.
The Dandelion Field can be purchased online at Christianbook.com, DeeperShopping, Amazon, and B&N.
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.