Rising star Sonya Kiel suddenly drops off the grid and lands on the doorstep of her cousin Lynette, who lives in western Oklahoma. Telling herself she’s just slumming and slowing down, Sonya finds herself enjoying the bucolic lifestyle … and Lynette’s best friend, a youth minister named Andy Brockton. Her life begins to be pulled in two directions as part of her desires to return to the bright lights and the silver screen, but another (and previously unknown part) wants to leave it all and follow Andy onto the mission field. Her dilemma becomes, literally, a life and death decision for her family.
Joe Whitcomb used to be a preacher. Now he hates God for killing his wife and daughter and calls himself a “recovering Christian”. Ellen Leads used to be a promising student until her whole life was derailed by drink and now calls herself a “recovering alcoholic”. Sometimes, running from your problems is easier if there’s someone running with you.
Brad comes home to Medicine Park, OK, to take over his father’s old business and try to put his life back together after a divorce. He’s fitting in, he’s meeting great new people, he’s even started attending a Bible study. Brad’s a great guy by everyone’s account. What they don’t know is that he has an addiction. He’s kept it well-hidden so far, but it’s already destroyed his marriage and it will soon destroy his whole life. So Brad tries to bury it, to ignore it, to power his way through it … but it keeps escaping from the box he keeps it in.
He had never seen so many books in one room. Stacked on rickety shelves from floor to ceiling, they overwhelmed the room, and the visitor. Chris Farmer, investigator for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, suddenly felt like he knew nothing about the person he was trying to help. But he was suddenly curious. Why would someone so young-why would anyone-have so many books? Alyste Smith was a young woman who lived with an abusive step father and longed to escape. The only way she knew how was through books. So she read and read and read, hoping beyond hope that, one day, a hero like the ones in her books would walk through her door and rescue her.
Alexander “Opie” Gates, a young man from west Texas, finds himself being greeted by a woman in a bar in New York City. At first glance, she’s kind of pretty and he likes the attention. But over the evening, he begins to think she is considerably older than she appears and worn down by life. Over the next few days, Opie finds himself drawn to this woman (who proves to be younger than he thought), but then he makes a horrible discovery about her lifestyle. Telling himself he’s emulating Jesus, he continues to be her friend. But then, two things Opie never anticipated happen almost at once: The woman comes to share his faith, and he begins to fall for her. Suddenly, he’s no longer just trying to be understanding and forgiving of a semi-nameless person. He’s trying to be forgiving of someone he wants to fall in love with but he can’t get over the idea that she’s already violated something he holds very dear.
Sean Clarke moves to the town of his dreams, to a house he loves, to a life he’s always wanted. There he meets and falls in love with Angie. a beautiful young woman. Sean’s family is happy for him, but they are waiting: for that moment when Sean discovers something he doesn’t like about another perfect woman and dumps her. A novel of self-discovery, about finding out that the things that irritate us most about the faults of other people are when they mirror our own.