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To Have and To Hold book review

I received the book To Have and To Hold by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller from Bethany House Publishers as part of their blogger review program, in exchange for my honest review on my blog. I am really loving this program from Bethany, mainly because I have loved the last two books I have received! I will share more about the other one in my next blog post.
This book is a very sweet story. The love between Audrey and her father as well as Audrey and Marshall are the two main components of this book. There are sub-plots of course, but these two lines intertwined throughout the book and I thought the authors did a superb job of lacing them together. This is a historical fiction novel, set on a fictitious island called Bridal Veil Island (BVI) off of the coast of southern Georgia. Audrey’s father is native to this island, his family having owned the entire island at one point, and he moves away to Pennsylvania when Audrey is young. Audrey and her father return to BVI later in life, so that he can restore it to what it once was before the “War Between the States”. A sub-plot is that Audrey’s father was an alcoholic who has since given his life to Jesus and turned away from the bottle, but Audrey is still very cautious and worries that her father will return to the bottle at any given moment. Enter in Marshall, who’s family are also all alcoholics and Audrey believes that he is as well. What she doesn’t know is that Marshall also is a follower of Jesus but she is a skeptic at best toward him at first. To put it bluntly, she is pretty rude to him. Of course, they fall madly in love by the end of the book.
Some of the themes that I personally resonated with in this book was the story of redemption from a wicked past, as well as the caution of Audrey. I all too often fall into a “negative” rut that I have been allowing the Holy Spirit to enable me to work against. I was fighting in my own power for too long, and I had forgotten what Kingdom I am now a part of. I think that when we have such strong demons from our past, we begin to war in our flesh, and then the battle is lost from the very first step. I have a wonderful mentor to thank for that piece of wisdom, and a beautiful group of women in my Bible study who weekly remind me of the grace of a community of women who can share openly and honestly.
I also resonated with the love story between Audrey and Marshall. When you aren’t expecting something to ever come along, when it does it is an alluring thing to behold. I felt that between them, when Marshall realized he was in love with Audrey and when Audrey realized she had fallen for Marshall. I was hoping the rest of the Bridal Veil Island series would be about them, but I see that it’s going to be about a new couple. Not sure I want to leave Audrey and Marshall, I was hoping to find out where the next step of their journey took them.