Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Song For My Mother by Kat Martin

A Song For My Mother:
Years after leaving Dreyersville "for good" with her boyfriend right after high school, Marilys Hanson returns to her hometown at the behest of her daughter, Katie, a brain-cancer survivor, who's never met her grandmother, Marilys's mother, Winnie. Now divorced from her husband, Marilys has a past she wishes she didn't have to face there.

Living next door to Winnie is the handsome young sheriff (and widower), Reed Bennett, and his son, Ham. Ham and Katie become fast friends, and when their parents finally meet, they hit it off quickly as well. But Marilys is insistent that her time in Dreyersville be limited. She's accepted a teaching position back home, and while she's willing to spend some of her summer putting up with her mother, she's intent on heading back and making good on her commitment. But will Marilys finally come to realize that her true destiny and, ultimately, her happiness, lie in coming to terms with her past?

Kat Martin wrote an incredibly touching and heartwarming story. A romantic book with pages filled with hope and forgiveness. Although this could be categorized as more of a novella than a full length novel, it sure packs a powerful punch. The subjects Kat touches upon are deep and emotional: a family torn apart by an abusive father, a young cancer survivor, a man in mourning.

Marly is a strong, independent woman who turned her life around and got an education after running from home at the age of sixteen. She would like nothing better than to never return to her childhood home, but after her daughter, Katie, survives rigorous cancer treatments she asks to meet her only surviving grandparent. Memories haunt Marly the moment she steps through the door and she hardens herself against her mother, Winnie. When Katie meets the boy next door, she is immediately drawn to his warm personality and they become fast friends. Reed quickly falls for Marly, and although she thinks she wants to leave, her heart has other plans as they become closer. It takes the terrible ordeal of another young mother's missing child for Marly to come to terms with what decisions her mother made in the past, and Marly begins to mend the bridge between her and Winnie, and in doing so opens her heart to the love she shares with Reed.

"[. . .] The point is Emily, things happen. Life happens. As mothers, we just try to do the best we can. Sometimes we make the wrong decision, but it isn't because we're bad mothers. It's just the way life is." (Page 131)

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