Ashley misses the sweet boy her son used to be--before the "incident." Now, "he was a 13-year old boy heading toward a life in prison if she didn't take drastic action." (5) What happened that changed him so suddenly? Perhaps the death of his father.
Now, Ashley is forced to leave the city life and move to the country side of Alabama, hoping to keep her son out of trouble and away from the criminal activities. After all, "country life had its benefits: fresh air, wide-open spaces, and less opportunity for hoodlum-induced trouble, all things that could do a boy like Emmett some good." (9) Still, that may not be enough.
Meanwhile, Wade is also struggling with guilt over his brother's incarceration.
Ashley and Wade both have the same goal: to knock some sense into their loved ones and save them from their pain, their anger, their life.
One day, Wade catches Emmett rummaging in his garage, and, suddenly, it's like he can see his brother's life all over again. He can see the young boy's bubbling anger and unwavering resentment toward his father. Instantly, the two boys sense a comfort around each other and realize they share the same emotional turmoil. The same goes for Ashley, who feels drawn to the husky, southern gentleman with a ravenous appetite and skilled hands.
I liked how Wade was able to be a strong role model for Emmett. That male bonding can really motivate and enlighten someone. The romantic aspect between Wade and Ashley was also heartwarming, especially when Ashley is still haunted by the final frightening moments of her husband's life. These characters showed great strength and compatibility, meandering through their inner qualms against the backdrop of luscious country scenery infused with the southern aromas of chicken-fried steak and home-style apple pie.
Warm, touching, and charming, this well-written novel captivates readers with its endearing characters and emotional plights. Mended is all about breaking and repairing; it's about getting lost and finding your way. Story is enriched with a delicious cornucopia of guilt, pain, and love-- powerful ingredients blended for the perfect combination of a sweet and savory tale. You'll want to eat it up!
My rating: 5 stars