Thursday, February 11, 2016

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 that romance can bloom in the rockiest of situations. And God can turn the pieces of a broken past into a beautiful new beginning.

        The Dandelion Field is Kathryn Springer’s first Banister Falls novel, and is also the first book I have ever read by her. Based on the description, I was pretty sure that this would be a story that I would enjoy, but I never thought that I would like it just as much as I did. Kathryn is a very talented writer, and she did a fabulous job on this novel, effortlessly weaving together love and pain, fear and trust. There are so many different emotions that run through you as you read this story, and that is part of what makes it just so enjoyable. I bounced back and forth between loving characters, feeling sorry for them, being angry at what they had to experience—either throughout the story or in their past—and that caused this book to really come to life for me.
        Gin Lightly is an extremely strong character! She faced so much in her past, and also has to deal with so many obstacles throughout the course of this book, but she remains strong, although I definitely wouldn’t say without fear. As a woman who keeps a half-packed suitcase in her closet so that she can leave at a moment’s notice, it is pretty obvious that she has a huge fear of real commitment, of staying even when things get tough. But when it comes to her daughter Raine, Gin would do anything, even promise to stay in the same town long enough for Raine to graduate high school. Unfortunately, maybe that wasn’t the best decision after all.
        Dan Moretti is such a solid character, although very different from Gin in many different ways. He doesn’t struggle with fear—with thoughts of leaving—like Gin does, but he does struggle to realize his own worth, though he doesn’t always know it. He is such a wonderful man, stepping in to help raise his best friend’s son after he passes away, always being there for anyone who needs him—especially Gin. She may not want his help, but she needs it, and that’s enough for Dan.
        By far, this has become one of my favorite books of all-time, and Kathryn has definitely become one of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved this story, and I cannot wait to read more of Kathryn’s books in the future, namely The Hearts We Mend—the second Bannister Falls novel—which is already sitting on my shelf waiting for me to finally pick it up. All in all, I definitely really enjoyed reading this book, I give it all five bookshelves, and I would highly recommend it. To everyone. I’m serious; this novel is a gem you won’t ever regret picking up. It’s the putting down that will give you trouble.
                Happy reading!

To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.

All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Kathryn Springer and Zondervan Publishing.

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