A good friend of mine encouraged me to read this story and told me how good it was (thank you good friend!). I don't give out many 5 star reviews, but this one hit all the marks for me. It was full of wonderful characters I came to know and appreciate, from the slow romantic feeling in Brooke and Owen's life, to the heartache and sorrow and new found love in Patsy's life, to the troubled youth, Hunter, who just needed someone to care about him as a person and see the good in him. I was overwhelmed at all the different story lines and how the author brought them all together under one roof in "the House that Love Built".
Brooke is a widow trying to deal with the grief of her husband being gone, raise two kids, run a hardware store and keep up with her divorced Mom, Patsy, who seems to have found someone special in her life. Brooke meets Owen, who has bought a house in town to fix up and live in to "spite" his wife who left him for his business partner. Both Brooke and Owen have a lot of "baggage" they bring to this "friendship" and it was refreshing watching them deal with pain and loss and grow their strictly friendship into something much more.
Then there is the way Owen takes in and helps out the town trouble maker, Hunter, and the sad life he has. Add to that the traveling Uncle who shows up in the midst of the house makeover, the ex-wife who shows up with a surprise and the searching of a secret room in the old house and you will find that this story is filled to the brim with interest, love, and laughter.
The biggest lesson learned throughout this book was the ability to forgive and let go of past hurts and mistakes. There were so many people who needed forgiveness granted and given and you see just how devastating it is when one harbors resentment and bitterness in their heart and doesn't choose to forgive. This isn't an easy thing to do and you need the help of the Lord in your life to get you through. This is also a story of love and family, a mixed blend of people who will become a loving family. I must say I was surprised by a few twists and turns in this story and I won't give anything away, but will say the author did a fantastic job and I highly recommend this story to anyone. It is my first book by this author, but it definitely will not be my last. So go ahead and curl up on the couch and get ready to find lots of love in the house that love built.
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 2, 2013)