Twenty-year-old Abigail Turner has only known her mother, Claire—who died shortly after she was born—through letters, videos, postcards, and journals. Abby’s father, Josh, has raised his precious daughter himself, but his over-protectiveness has become stifling. Abby longs to forge out on her own and see the world after a childhood trapped indoors: she suffers from bronchopulmonary dysplasia, which means a case of the sniffles can rapidly escalate into life-threatening pneumonia.
But when Abby’s doctor declares her healthy—for now—her grandmother Millie whisks her away to Europe to visit the Christmas markets that her mother cherished and chronicled in her travel journals. Despite her father’s objections, Abby and Millie embark on a journey of discovery in which Abby will learn secrets that force her to reevaluate her image of her mother and come to a more mature understanding of a parent-child bond that transcends death.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes offers a tender and heartfelt exploration of parental love and a daughter’s longing for connection in the poignant next chapter following Saving Abby.
Author: Steena Holmes
Title: Abby’s Journey (Sequel to Saving Abby)
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Published: February 14th, 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
When I’m reading a good novel, I become attached to the characters. I’m always sad to reach the end because I always want to know what happened next. When I read Saving Abby last year, I wasn’t ready to let go of the Turner family. I wanted—no, I needed—to know how Josh managed to go on without Claire at his side… how he coped with raising their daughter alone… and wondering if he would ever be able to find love again. I wanted to know what came next in Josh’s life.
Those questions do get answered in Abby’s Journey, but this sequel isn’t focused on what came next for Josh. The spotlight falls on Abby this time around, concentrating on her European vacation with grandmother Millie, visiting Christmas markets.
I enjoyed reading about Abby, but… taking a winter vacation despite her medical condition? I had trouble accepting that Millie would be willing to risk it, after losing Claire.
Abby’s Journey wasn’t quite the sequel I’d hoped to read, but it was nice to be able to read about these characters again, and find out what came next in their lives. While I didn’t love the winter setting, I did understand why visiting the Christmas markets was so important to Abby, and why she longed to do other “normal” winter activities.
The way the book ends made me smile… I can’t say why in this review, but it was something I dreaded seeing the resolution of, but I need not have worried. That particular issue resolved itself in the most wonderful way, and is probably my favorite part of the book.
About the Author
Steena Holmes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the novels Saving Abby, The Word Game, Stillwater Rising, The Memory Child, Emma’s Secret, and Finding Emma, among others. She won the National Indie Excellence Award in 2012 for Finding Emma as well as the USA Book News Award for The Word Game. Steena lives in Calgary, Alberta, and continues to write stories that touch every parent’s heart. To find out more about her books and her love of traveling, you can visit her website or follow her journeys on Instagram.
Author photo via Goodreads. Author bio via publisher.