Yesterday’s Embers by Deborah Raney
Howard Books (March 24, 2009)
Synopsis: (It was really hard to write a synopsis for this – I didn’t want to give anything away. There is so much more to the story than I’m sharing.)
When Douglas DeVore’s wife and one of their six children die tragically, Doug is broken – and doesn’t see how he will ever escape the dark pit that has become his life. His remaining five children, all of whom he loves to pieces, are his only reason for getting out of bed every morning.
Then he begins to notice his childrens’ daycare teacher, Miss Mickey. She brings a smile to his face, and his children adore her. Is Mickey Valdez God’s answer to Doug’s loneliness?
My first book by Deborah Raney was Beneath a Southern Sky. I was so moved by the book, I cried through it (more like sobbed). And I don’t cry through books. Period. It was intense. I could not remove the characters or situations the characters found themselves in from my brain (and I didn’t want to!). I became a devoted Deborah Raney fan after that, and jumped at the chance to review Yesterday’s Embers. Although the third in the Clayborn novel series, each can be read alone. Those who have read the first two will be pleased to see glimpses of the lives of characters from the previous books.
In Yesterday’s Embers, Deborah again manages to draw you into the minds and hearts of her characters and at the same time creates a page-turner. I couldn’t put this book down! My heart broke for Doug when he lost his wife and tried to move on and I tried not to cry (again) when his oldest daughter, Kayeleigh (12), accidentally witnessed her daddy break down and sob in the middle of the night.
Yesterday’s Embers peels back the layers of real life relationships. I think anyone who has been married or in a serious relationship will be able to relate to Doug and Mickey. Those who aren’t married will get a good look at how hard relationships can be sometimes. I was reminded that at some point in our lives, we all go through times when our hearts are broken… we struggle through the mire that is our present, trying to find hope and peace again. Yesterday’s Embers is a reminder that God will see us through the worst of times, even when it seems like He’s not there – He is. He can pick us up and help us carry on and find Him again. There is no life too messed up for Him. Somehow this message was embedded in Doug and Mickey’s story in a powerful but very non-preachy way.
I love books that bring me out of my “self”, and this was not a disappointment. Thank you, Deborah, for another fantastic novel! It touched a part of my heart that had been hardened and reminded me that God will “keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” (Isaiah 26:3 – Amplified version)