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Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Journey to Forgiveness by Laurean Brooks

This is a delightful, heart-warming read.
Journey to Forgiveness
by Laurean Brooks

  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: White Rose Publishing (January 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601543654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601543653
Genre: Inspirational Historical
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: January 9, 2009
When Jenny Hinson's abusive father deserts the family, the responsibility of the family's Tennessee farm falls to Jenny and her mother. Four years later, in 1938, boll weevils infest the cotton crop, plunging the Hinsons into dire financial straits and Jenny takes the train north to find work. Electricity has yet to reach rural Chicory Valley. But, not only is the young woman introduced to it in its tapped form in Chicago, but also encounters a few jolts along the way when she challenges the infuriating Austin Grant over a luggage mishap.

Sparks fly outside the Kankakee train station when Jenny discovers her missing vanity case under Austin's arm. She immediately labels him a thief. And after Austin coaxes money from her aunt's congregation, Jenny determines to find enough evidence to expose him and his nefarious deeds. Why did Austin pull money from the mission strong box and stuff a sizable roll into his pocket? Wasn't this just the proof Jenny needed? Then why was she reluctant to report the theft? And why did her heart race at every encounter with the notorious Austin?

Jenny's personal convictions would never allow a relationship where trust was blatantly missing. Can Jenny muster enough courage to ask Austin the tough questions that will ultimately make or break their relationship? Can she forgive her father's brutality? Find out as you follow Jenny's struggles in "Journey To Forgiveness."

Jenny’s abusive father left home taking along her teenage brother. She, her mom and younger siblings have struggled to keep the primative Tennessee farm going to support the needs of the family. When a crop failure puts them behind Jenny travels to Chicago to live with her Aunt and earn money to send home. At a train station along the way to the city she meets a debonair, handsome man who she thinks is stealing her vanity case! The man introduces himself as Austin Grant and teases her, making her angrier.

Jenny runs into Austin in Chicago and is astounded he isn’t in jail. When he shows up in church seeking funds for an alleged rebuilding project, everyone, including her Aunt, believes he is a good guy.  She is convinced she will find evidence that proves he is a con artist.

Jenny gets a good job as a secretary where she has to cope with her very particular and strict boss who is dictating a history of Chicago. Meanwhile Jenny has to fend off interest from the spoiled, rich young man who lives next door to her Aunt. During a vacation time she agrees to join a mission trip with others from the church arranged by Austin to help storm victims.

Austin is attracted to Jenny and does everything he can to charm her. Every time they are together she seems to overreact, be offended or is angry with him. He suspects she was hurt by someone in her past and he wants to find the truth to help her heal. Slowly Jenny falls for Austin’s charm and humor but she isn’t sure she can trust him. She saw him pocket some money from the mission strong box and she can’t understand why such a good man is a thief.

Austin is a lovable, charming character and Jenny is a sweet, impulsive young woman who jumps to conclusions. Their chemistry is warm and the misunderstandings humorous. In addition to enjoying the antics I loved the depth of history that is easily shared by Ms. Brooks through the comparison’s of country and city living and through the memories shared by the historian or others. I also loved the inspirational wisdom that permeates the story as part of the lives of the characters.  Jenny’s situation with her father provides the perfect situation to share a strong message how holding bitterness and being unforgiving hurts the one refusing to forgive more than it hurts the one who offended. I loved the story, the humor and the faith based plot. This is a delightful read and I look forward to reading more stories by Ms. Brooks.
An example of Jenny’s prayer:
Lord, once again I have blundered with my mouth. I have read the third chapter of James many times–those scriptures about controlling the tongue. It will take a miracle to tame mine. Please send one soon. Page 52.
Austin wants to protect Jenny but recognizes that isn’t his place:
It was out of his league. Only God had that power. Only He held the remedy. Austin would put it into the Almighty’s capable hands. Trust Him with it. Page 148.
I pulled this from my Won TBR.
Set in Chicago, IL for my 2013 Where Are You Reading Challenge?


For 3 Extra Bonus entries Visit the author's website and tell me something you find of interest.

* This contest is open US and Canada Only.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on February 15, 2013.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on February 16, 2013.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.


  1. This sounds like a very good story. I love to read Inspirational stories besides reading Historical stories. While visiting Lairean's site I learned that in her fifth grade her teacher took an interest in her and encouraged her to become an author.

  2. the first thing you see on the site is a video of the author's books

  3. I loved the video of her books, I thought it was creative to have it be the first thing you see when you click on the site.


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