Patsy Milstrap wants nothing more than to leave her past where it belongs – in the past. But it keeps catching up with her, and she is finding it harder and harder to push it back where it belongs. When her husband suggests a vacation in Cedar Key, Florida, Patsy is reluctant, but, for the sake of her family and her marriage, she agrees. What she doesn’t expect is that her past will find her in an unexpected way in Cedar Key.The main story in Waiting for Sunrise takes the reader all the way back to the beginning of Patsy’s story to explore the many events that occurred, both good and bad, to lead Patsy to where she is today. It also follows the story of Billy, Patsy’s half-brother, whose story is connected to Patsy’s in ways that neither of them ever expected.
I’m not usually one to gush about novels that are emotional, pull-at-your-heartstrings-type books. Often those novels try so hard to make you cry that it just becomes depressing or comes off as cheesy. This was not the case with Waiting for Sunrise. It had so much depth, and it was real without going overboard. Even though the subject matter was weighty and sometimes sad, I was not depressed while I was reading it. I think the difference is that there was an underlying sense of hope throughout. Most of the characters turned to God and placed their faith and trust in Him to guide them through the myriad of things that were going on in their lives.I really enjoyed the main character, Patsy, in this book. I was able to relate somewhat to her – not completely, as I have not been through all of the things that she did – but I do identify with someone who has suffered to some extent with post-partum depression. One thing that I was fascinated with in Patsy’s character was the progression that she went through. Because of her circumstances and what was going on in her mind, you could see how she gradually went into that downward spiral. It was almost as if at times her mind was telling her things that were not true, and she began to believe them. Even though the story itself was good and kept me interested, I mostly kept reading to see where, when, and how Patsy would begin that uphill climb toward forgiveness and healing.
I also liked the other characters in this book. The Buchmans’ acceptance of Patsy into their home was heartwarming, Billy’s and Veronica’s faith in God and love for each other was uplifting, and Gilbert’s steadfast love was heroic. The time period of the novel was good as well. This book was more character-driven rather than setting-driven, but there was still enough there to give you a good sense of the time in which the characters lived.One thing that bothered me a little in this novel was that I sometimes got a bogged down in the descriptions, especially about what the characters were wearing. It’s nice to know these things when the characters are going to a dance, for instance, but I don’t always need to know what they are wearing just for everyday attire. This is just a personal preference – others might like to have that complete mental picture, especially since the author’s imagery is very clear.
Another thing is that I was slightly disappointed with the final chapter of the book. I understand why it was there, and it brought things back around to the title of the book, but I thought it was extremely different from the rest of the novel. The book would have been just as good and just as powerful if it had ended at the previous chapter. The final one was too ethereal for me. Again, this is a personal preference.I enjoyed the previous Cedar Key novel for the most part, but I thought Waiting for Sunrise was much better. Before I read this one, I debated if I would continue with the series. Now I know that I will.
I will give Waiting for Sunrise … 4 BookWorms.
Reviewer’s note – While I really enjoyed this novel, I will warn readers that the subject matter in this book is heavy and deals with topics that might not be the best thing for younger readers. I would consider some of the content to be PG-13 at least. I do not say this in a negative way but just to give a word of caution.