Sometimes the thing that keeps us from making the wrong choice is the one thing we can’t control
As an investigative reporter and the host of her own TV talk show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she’s anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she’d like to forget. By contrast, her husband Geary’s life is an open book. An easygoing pro bass fisherman, Geary is the ultimate family man–and his overbearing relatives don’t know the meaning of boundaries.
Faith and Geary haven’t been married long when their differences start to derail their tender relationship. Surely love shouldn’t be this hard. While Faith considers whether divorce is the only answer to their issues, tragedy strikes. With her life in the balance, she finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.
Kellie Coates Gilbert takes you on an emotional roller coaster as she weaves together unexpected trial, self-discovery, and forgiveness in this profoundly honest portrait of the tensions that can break a marriage–and the ultimate healing power of love.
Continue reading for a look at how this book spoke to me personally and also for an excerpt from it.
Kellie Coates Gilbert continues her Texas Gold series with what might be her most personal novel and, for me, it wasn’t an easy read. It’s actually one that left me emotionally drained, because it was a little too close to home. Faith is at the top of her game when she’s sent to cover a speech by a local politician. That’s the morning she becomes a victim of a mass shooter. The who and why isn’t important to the story. It’s the before and after that matters. It’s tough to read of the event as seen through Faith’s eyes, but Gilbert then immediately takes us back in time to the day Faith met her future husband. It’s an abrupt transition but works because the atmosphere is different and doesn’t allow the reader to dwell on that terrible moment.
I am not Faith, but I immediately identified with her. Our circumstances were different but, like her, I came from a small family that had its problems and married in to a large close-knit one. This is a family which does a lot together and expects you to be there for every event, and where you often feel like you don’t quite fit in. But if that similarity struck a nerve in me, more was to come. A Reason to Stay not only looks at the past, but focuses on Faith’s recovery. She’s a young woman faced with the reality that her life has totally changed. She’s moved into a rehabilitation unit where she must learn to walk again and also hopefully regain full use of her left arm. The story takes place in Texas, but I was imagining a hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as I read. You see, my sister in law had a stroke this summer and was in hospital for a month. Like Faith, she had to learn how to walk again and she also lost the use of her non-dominant hand (it’s coming back slowly) and some communication skills. Thankfully, she didn’t need brain surgery. As I read of Faith’s frustration and insecurity I kept wondering if my dear sister had felt (and still feels) the same at times, and my heart was aching. Like Faith, however, she had a great reason to fight (she was engaged and got married in October) and has a great man by her side.
As my husband observed, this book had an emotional impact on me. He watched the tears stream down my face as I read the author’s note after the story ended. Kellie Coates Gilbert drew from personal experience to write A Reason to Stay and the result is overwhelming. Other readers may look at this novel from different perspectives, but it’s one that will stick with me for a very long time.
Thank you to Revell Books for my complimentary copy of A Reason to Stay, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read A Reason to Stay? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 06 October 2015
Page Count: 336