A unique journey through the past: My review of "Remembering you" by Tricia Goyer

Publisher: Guideposts (November 2011)

Ava Ellington's life has hit a snag, and her carefully laid out plans to have a wonderful marriage and a strong career seem to have gone sideways. Seeking to overcome her broken heart and to reignite her fumbling career, she agrees to accompany her Grandpa Jack to Europe to tour World War II battle sites. Upon arriving in Paris, they meet up with her grandpa's best friend, Grand-Paul, along with his grandson Dennis, an unexpected addition who triggers reminders of lost love. Ava soon finds herself reliving the end of World War II in Europe through the eyes of her grandfather as they visit battle sites and a concentration camp he and other veterans helped liberate. As the days pass, Ava and Dennis also relive their own history, discovering the embers of a love that may lead to an unexpected outcome.

Tricia Goyer has demonstrated time and again her ability to take the past, breathe new life into it, and use it to illuminate our present and our future, and she has definitely succeeded again! I greatly enjoyed the unique spin she put upon the World War II theme she wove throughout the book, viewing the victories and tragedies of the past through the lens of the relationship of Ava and her Grandpa Jack as he slowly warmed up to her requests to share his experiences. I must admit that the relationship between Ava and Dennis sometimes annoyed me as their often immature interactions reminded me more of adolescents than of grown adults, but perhaps that just demonstrates the author's ability to make the character's realistic, bringing to life not only their positive, enjoyable traits, but their selfish ones too! By the end of the book, these characters had found a place in my heart and earned my respect.

Grandpa Jack was probably my favorite character with his servant heart, his kind but sometimes gruff exterior, his courage to share the truth of the past. I found myself pondering his words to his best friend Grand-Paul when he stated, "you're afraid to pray because you don't want to be disappointed, but prayer is more about being willing to change ourselves. To know God has the answers". Grandpa Jack's challenge to his friend is one that could be said to any of us.

Readers who enjoy a blend of contemporary fiction with historical elements will greatly enjoy Remembering You and I give this book a strong recommendation of 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: Book has bee provided through the publisher and Litsfuse Publicity Group for the purposes of this unbiased review.

E. Healy
Meet Tricia

Tricia Goyer is the author of 30 books and has published over 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today's Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine. She won the Historical Novel of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. In her fiction novels, Tricia writes contemporary and historical stories that feature strong women overcoming great challenges. She recreates historic wartime eras with precise detail through perseverant and comprehensive research.