Robyn Carr: A New Hope
Life often hands us difficult deals and Ginger and Matt have gone though some hard times before coming together and meeting in Thunder Point. Author Robyn Carr takes these two characters on a journey that will bring smiles, tears, frustration and hope to all those who believe in happy endings. But, before you can have a happy ending you need to focus and deal with the past and be ready for changes in the present. Ginger just came off of a marriage to a man who was only concerned with making himself happy, becoming famous in the music world and had little or no passion for her or anything else. Matt was married to a model that wanted more than just being the wife of a farmer. Matt’s wife Natalie appears to be self-absorbed and self- consumed with her own wants and needs. Neither Matt nor Natalie seem to consider the other person. Matt comes off as being immersed in his farm, harvesting and all that his family needs him to do. His mother is domineering and his sister Peyton has her own take on him but Matt at times falls within himself, shuts out the world and seems distant and angry.
Ginger came to Thunder Point and went to work for Grace in her flower shop. After a difficult divorce and losing a child she needed to not only find a place that she felt and safe and comfortable but could restart her life.
The book begins with a wedding between Peyton and Scott and this is where the fun begins as Ginger meets Matt in a scene that is really quite hilarious. Ginger Dysart went to this small town to help her Ray Anne. Moved in and has a new job at a flower shop little did she expect a wild confrontation from Matt Lacoumette at the wedding. Attending this wedding to assist with the flowers and help at the wedding when Matt comes up to her drunk as a skunk her reaction is priceless and the guests well you have to read it for yourself. But, Matt is relentless and cannot forgive himself for what he tried to do to Ginger and finds himself at the flower shop hoping to make amends. Sometimes the least expected can turn out to be better than a fine wine when Matt and Ginger finally put what happened aside and developed a true friendship based on common interests.
Author Robyn Carr brings to light several issues within this novel. We learn about Winnie, Grace’s mother who has ALS and whose strong mind and attitude will not allow her to feel sorry for herself or bring anyone else down. As Ginger helps out at the flower shop, Grace and Troy are preparing not only for their wedding but for Grace’s mother to come and live there hoping she likes how they decorated her house. Added in we meet LinSu, Winnie’s nurse and her son Charlie who suffers from allergies and asthma but is a computer whiz. Throughout the story we meet many other characters that have issues to resolve within their pasts before moving on in the present. Ginger not only had a failed marriage due to being married to a self-absorbed and unemotional man, but she lost a child to SIDS too. Grace is trying to setting her mother whose personality you have to love, whose spunk and energy level far surpasses what you would expect of someone with ALS and yet she is inspiring. Charlie and Winnie form a special bond and she wants to make sure that he is able to attend a better school in Thunder Point. With the help of Troy and Scott that is made possible. With Mikhail to keep her centered we have a strong cast of characters that blend well together. The Basque celebration and wedding of Dr. Scott Grant and Peyton Lacoumette might have started the events and put Matt and Ginger’s friendship in motion but both of them learn a lot about themselves as their stories evolve.
While Matt is trying to explain his relationship with his ex-wife Natalie who keeps coming back into his life thinking she can repair the damage and get him back, we learn more about Matt and find out that although he is often kind, understanding and hopes to find his way with Ginger, we learn later on that he does not always process information the right way, look at situation from someone else’s point of view and when the author reveals what really happened between him and his ex you the reader will decide who is at fault.
Ginger then relates what happened between her and Mick and how his music took control of his life, his aspirations and when she needed him to support her when she became pregnant he was not there. Not his kind of life and he never ever acknowledges that he was the father by stating it was her child. Throughout the novel Mick tries to reenter her life for selfish reasons and this leads Ginger to having conflicts within herself trying to see where her true feelings are: with Matt or Mick. But, she becomes embroiled in working in the flower shop, Grace is now pregnant, her mother is there and things start to fall into place until they don’t. Matt has a strong personality and when Ginger tells him that Mick called and want to see or speak to her his reaction is quite startling and she realizes that he tends to take over and not allow others to make decisions for themselves.
Needing to come to terms with her son’s death, finding it in her heart to forgive Mick for what he did and Matt needing to finally confront Natalie and deal with his true feelings this novel brings to light these conflicts and more. Can you forgive someone that has done so much to make your life miserable? Can you forgive yourself for not listening and hearing someone’s point of view? Natalie is a model and totally absorbed in that life, hates farming which Matt is attached to and passionate about and although she is repulsed by so many of the things he does she still wants to find a way back to him but why? Natalie feels threatened by Matt’s family and his brothers and sisters. She feels that she I out of place and yet he feels he tried but does not ever really see Natalie.
Things spiral out of control and both Matt and Ginger give each other some distance and yet at times she needs him close. What will they decide? Will they realize that their destiny is to be together? What about Peyton, his sister and her negative point of view about their relationship? When the mist clears and the fog rolls up will they see that they now have a New Hope that might lead to happiness? Happy endings do not come easily so when you read this one the author leaves room for a sequel The Wildest Dreams which comes out in September and you, the reader will revisit Thunder Point and find out what’s next.
A great novel that I read in one hour and could not put down but one which brings to light so many issues besides ALS, Asthma, allergies, understanding, loyalty, listening and forgiveness. A NEW HOPE! Let’s hope they find one!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews