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Beyond the Storm Review

Title:  Beyond the Storm
Author:  Carolyn Zane                                                                                                                     
Pages:  270
Year:  2012
Publisher:    Abingdon Press
                Beyond the Storm is the next installment in the Quilts of Love series.  Each novel in the series has a strong female lead character, who experiences the trials of life, romance, and perhaps a little mystery.  This particular novel is of the contemporary fiction genre and takes place in Rawston, Illinois.  There are also discussion questions about the story included at the end of the book.
                Abigail Durham is the owner of a hair salon, the Doo Drop-In.  She is sassy and spirited.  She has worked for the last three years to revamp and upgrade her hair salon to bring in more customers.  She has finally started seeing success.  She goes to church when she doesn’t have anything else to do on a Sunday morning.  Each year a special quilt is made for the festival and auctioned off with the proceeds going to charity.  What will the quilt’s theme be this year?  Abby has volunteered to run a booth at the upcoming quilt festival.  People come from all over for this festival, so a huge crowd is expected.  Unfortunately, there are problems with the construction of her booth according to a phone message left by Justin Girard.  She returns his call and gives him an earful not realizing he has donated his time and that the problems are with the city permits and ordinances of which he has no control over.  They agree to meet.  After a short discussion with Justin, Abby leaves, but doesn’t get far when disaster soon strikes.  Will Abby’s hard work be all for nothing after tragedy strikes?  How can a loving God let something like this happen?  Will she risk a relationship with Justin?  Is he worth risking her heart?
                Justin Girard has lived in Rawston, Illinois, for a little over a year.  He attends church every week and is a compassionate young man.  He runs his own small contracting business and works closely with the local hardware store owner, who is a Christian mentor to him.  Justin has relocated to Rawston from the east coast to keep an eye on his aging grandparents whose health is beginning to fail.  Who is this lady calling him up and blasting away at him?  When the “storm” strikes, how is Justin affected?  Can Abby be the one for him?
                There are many other small stories going on at the same time, but the story is not hard to follow.  The lives of many of the other citizen’s around town are also shared.  There is the local hardware handyman, the unhappy couple forced to marry as teenagers due to an unplanned pregnancy, a high school youngster going to prom, a Japanese family running their restaurant as well as Olympic hopefuls in the figure skating competition.  These details really flesh-out the story and provide many interesting diversions.  There is one especially heart-wrenching scene that brought a tear to my eye, but I won’t spoil it by telling you about it.  Throughout this tragedy, people begin to realize that God is present in the midst of tragedy and can do wonderful things in the aftermath of something so terrible.
                My rating is 3 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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