Saturday, March 2, 2024


Where the Blue Sky BeginsWhere the Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*2023 Christy Award winner and Selah Award finalist*

Sometimes the hardest road of all is the road home.

When confident and handsome Eric Larson is sent to a rural Montana town to work in the local branch of his uncle's financial company, he's determined to exceed everyone's expectations, earn a promotion, and be back in Seattle by the end of summer. Yet nothing could prepare him for the lessons this small town has in store.

At forty-six years old, eccentric and outspoken Eunice Parker has come to accept her terminal illness and has given herself one final task: seek forgiveness from everyone on her bucket list before her time runs out. But it will take more courage than she can muster on her own.

After an accident pushes Eric and Eunice together, the unlikely pair is forced to spend more time with each other than either would like, which challenges their deepest prejudices and beliefs. As summer draws to a close, neither Eric nor Eunice is where they thought they would be, but they both wrestle with the same important question: What matters most when the end is near?


This book goes on my favorites list and I'm eager to read more of Katie's books. It was flawless. It entertains and inspires. I suspect many readers will find it life changing. Everything blended together wonderfully - setting, character depth, prose, faith, humor, animals, and a few surprise twists. Katie Powner is a wordsmith!

Anyone reading this book will surely discover much upon which to reflect, but it became very personal for me. For the last three years, I have slipped into the role of caretaker, and now I have to figure out what this new normal looks like. In one scene, Wanda gave Eunice some advice that really spoke to me: "If I were in your shoes, I would want someone to push me to make the most of my time. Not just to fill it with activity, but to put it to good use." I'd like for my remaining time to have purpose, not merely staying busy.

The whole theme of this story reminds me of something I once read in a book by Cynthia Ruchti, I believe it was. I can't quote it exactly, but the idea was that we should live in a way that, when someone we love dies, there won't be anything that we wish we had said - that our love would have been expressed many times by words and actions. The importance of that can't be overstated.

The story concludes beautifully and in a satisfying way. While I would love to see how Eric continues to grow and spend more time with the people in this Montana town, I appreciate an ending that allows us to imagine what might be. Very highly recommended.

-- "I do know that where I'm going, the sky is bluer than we can imagine. We don't even know what blue is." (Eunice)

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