Book Recommendation: True North by Susan Diane Johnson

True North

Back cover blurb:

Several months after a tragic accident that claimed their son, Lisa and Joe Kendall’s marriage has fallen apart. Feeling guilt over the death of their son, Joe has decided that the best thing for Lisa is for him to be out of her life. But, his marriage isn’t the only thing suffering, and Joe is forced into a leave of absence from work so he can find closure. Unsure where to spend the forced vacation, Joe decides to go alone on the Alaskan cruise he and Lisa had planned to take with their son. The last person he expects to see once the ship is well away from Seattle is Lisa. Lisa has prayed every day for Joe to reclaim his faith in God and come home so they can grieve together and rebuild the relationship they once shared. In hopes that two weeks alone with Joe will help save their marriage, she boards the ship. Little does she know that Joe has already decided to file for divorce. How will she convince him before the ship docks that they can still have a happy marriage even though their child is gone?

Narelle:ย I really enjoyed reading True North.ย The author is one of my critique partners and I’ve had the pleasure of watching this story grow and evolve. The premise is different to the typical inspirational romance because it’s a reunion romance story with a married hero and heroine. The tragedy of losing their only child has ripped apart Lisa and Joe’s marriage. At the start of the story they’re estranged and living apart, their relationship with God challenged by the unexpected loss of their son, Cody.

Lisa arranges, without Joe’s knowledge, to join him on the Alaskan cruise that was supposed to be a family birthday celebration for Cody. Their son’s dream had been to see the whales. The story has many emotional highs and lows as both Lisa and Joe deal with their grief , their faith crises, and their crumbing marriage. A couple of fascinating minor characters on the cruise play a critical role in helping Joe and Lisa heal and face their marital problems.

I loved the depth of emotion experienced by the characters as they worked through their very real issues. The Alaskan scenery was gorgeous and the close proximity of the cruise ship heightened the romantic tension in the story. I highly recommend True North for those looking for a deep and compelling contemporary romance story.

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