With some authors I love, I’m reluctant to pick up their newest book and read it because I’m afraid this will be the one book they write I don’t like, or I’m afraid I’ll like it so much I won’t want the story to end. That’s the case with anything Nicole Baart writes. Two years ago, she wrote a book that was my favorite of the whole year before the year had even started. Sleeping in Eden is still on my list of all-time favorites.
So, when this beauty, The Beautiful Daughters, arrived a few months ago, I set it aside. For later, I said. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a review.) Its release date was set for April, so I had some time.
Well, now it’s April, so I had to take a deep breath and dive in.
As usual, I had nothing to worry about.
Nicole Baart writes some of my favorite words and sentences. She plumbs the depths of human emotions. Her characters are haunted by a decision or a circumstance, and the drama that plays out as a result of their choices is riveting.
So it is with The Beautiful Daughters.
Adrienne, daughter of an Iowa dairy farmer and Harper, the stunning girl from who-knows-where, formed an unlikely friendship in college. With Adri’s brother Will, his friend Jackson and the aloof heir to the Galloway fortune, David, they become The Five, a makeshift family. When a post-graduation trip to British Columbia ends in tragedy, Adri and Harper run from each other and the memories–Adri to West Africa as a nurse for a non-profit and Harper to a hellish existence she thinks she deserves. Five years later, they both return to Blackhawk, Iowa, where memories haunt them and the truth is revealed.
I’ve been reading Baart’s books for a few years, and her stories are better each time. While she used to write for the Christian market, her last couple of books have been in the general market, and her writing is the better for it. Her stories are grittier and more real and peppered with appropriate language for dark circumstances without being gratuitous. Yet, they’re still filled with hope.
The Beautiful Daughters is a story of darkness and light, of identity lost and found, of friendship and love and how choices can change the course of our lives, for worse and for better.
Nicole Baart releasing a new book is good news.
Want more good news? I have a copy to give away!
Leave me a comment here on the blog and I’ll enter you for a chance to win The Beautiful Daughters. (U.S. residents only.) Contest is open until Sunday, May 3, when I’ll pick a winner using random.org.
Have you read any of Nicole Baart’s books before? Check out her website and let me know which of her books sounds most interesting to you. (I wish I could give you your pick of books!)