AUTHOR: Melissa Jagears
PUBLISHER: Bethany House
In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain, determined to protect Teaville's children from the bullying she experienced as a child, finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she's dead set against him getting the job.
Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy's mistrust, but he's returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn't expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the best interests of the children at heart.
Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they're working for?
Bullying makes the news nearly every day, but it’s by no means new. A Chance at Forever deals with severe bullying in the early 1900s, and while this story is fiction, I’m certain the scenarios are realistic.
Aaron was a bully and Mercy one of his victims, so how can they move beyond their past pain and work together? The theme of redemption and forgiveness moves in a one-step-forward, two-steps-back manner. As Aaron begins to admire Mercy for her determination and positive attitude in spite of her disability, his shame deepens, and he cannot forgive himself.
Parts of this narrative are not easy to read, as it delves into the dark side of society, and I found myself confusing some of the secondary actors (several names begin with S). But the hero and heroine are compelling characters, and their journey to reconciliation and more carries the story.
A Chance at Forever earns four stars for its gritty realism and faith-based premise. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.