Shay Benson adored her younger brother. She did all she could to keep Caden on the straight and narrow. But one day her best intentions got Shay into the worst trouble of her life. By protecting Caden, Shay sacrificed herself.
Drew Douglas adored his wife. But since losing Katie, all he could do was focus on their two beautiful children; everything else came a distant second.
Shay and Drew are each in need a fresh start, and when they meet by chance it’s an unexpected blessing for them both. Drew helps Shay to get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose.
But when a devastating secret is uncovered, Shay and Drew’s new lives are threatened. It will take all of their strength, faith and trust to protect the bright future they dream of.
Published 10th August by Arrow (UK)
I seem to be making a habit recently of reading books by authors I’ve never managed to get to before. Despite having a couple of her books tucked away, Debbie Macomber is one such author. After reading Any Dream Will Do I’m literally kicking myself for this – why have I left it so long? I absolutely loved this charming, uplifting and moving book.
Shay hoped her life had turned a corner, she had a job and her wild past seemed to be behind her. But when her brother comes to her for help, she can’t turn him away and this lands her in prison. Forward three years later, freed from jail and with no where or no one to turn to, she finds herself in an open church. Drew, pastor of the church, is still mourning the untimely death of his beloved wife and struggling to juggle being a single dad with his church duties. But when Shay wanders in, he senses hope for the first time in a long time and in helping her, helps himself, his children and his community.
After reading so many gritty thrillers, Any Dream Will Do was like a breath of fresh air. Yes, there’s some serious scenes with some upsetting and violent consequences, however Debbie Macomber’s compassionate, empathy filled writing makes this book incredibly joyous and inspiring. The theme of the book is second chances, recogognising that good people make bad choices, and how small acts of kindness and faith in your fellow humans can literally turn lives around. And all this is conveyed with a charm that never wanders into the saccharine, despite the risks it easily could do.
I adored the relationship between Shay and Drew and I have so much respect for Macomber that despite Shay’s circumstances, there is a mutual gain and appreciation from both sides. This isn’t a hero, whisking a poor victim up and making everything better. It’s equal, both learning and moving forward to make a better life. They both make decisions that may not have been the right ones, but for the right reasons and I thought the point about bad choices not necessarily equating to bad people was delivered beautifully.
Any Dream Will Do is clearly influenced by the author’s Christian faith, however it never, ever feels preachy (which would be guaranteed to switch me off) and is very subtle. It just reflects on acts of kindness and forgiveness – traits that anyone can relate to and appreciate. I welled up a couple of times reading this book, and it genuinely made me feel happy and hopeful. In a world where horrific stories of violence and suffering are daily occurrences, it’s like a little ray of light restoring faith in humankind. Absolutely feel good reading, I enjoyed this one very much.
( I read a copy courtesy of the publisher)