A story of forgiveness and resilience... The Way Back by Heidi Chiavaroli (Review & #Giveaway) #newbooks #bookx #christfic #christianfiction #womensfiction @justreadtours

The Way Back JustRead Takeover + Review Blitz

Welcome to my tour stop with JustRead Publicity Tours!
Read my review and enter the giveaway below...

The Way Back
The Way Back
(Lights of Acadia #1 )
By Heidi Chiavaroli
Christian Women's Fiction, Dual Timeline, Romance
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & eBook, 336 Pages
June 18, 2024 by Hope Creek Publishers 


Young love means everything . . . until it leaves you with nothing.

The summer before her senior year of high school, Laney Jacobs and her best friend jump from a six-story beachside cliff in an attempt to impress their boyfriends. Laney rose from the water. Her friend did not. 

Six years later, when Laney’s troubled mother’s memoir hits the bestseller list airing the family’s destructive secrets, Laney is forced to relive the trauma, this time in the public eye. To escape the scrutiny, she seeks shelter at her estranged grandmother’s seaside inn. But she can’t reconcile the loving woman with the heartless parent in her mother’s book. As she seeks answers, the boyfriend who once cost her a promising future reappears, stirring up both pain and hope. 

When her mother's vindictive fans threaten her grandmother's livelihood and the lighthouse Laney has come to love, she turns to the century-old words of a young lighthouse keeper to help her find the courage to move forward. But once truths from the past come to light and old love finds new beginnings, will Laney discover that forgiveness is the only way toward true healing?

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My Review

THE WAY BACK is a story of grief, pain, estrangement, and loss, but also of family, faith, hope, strength and love. It's about second chances and the forgiveness that takes place in a small town by the ocean between two old friends and three generations of women. It's also about a story of a woman who kept the lights burning in lighthouses and the strength she found in her faith. Christian fiction and romance readers should enjoy this heartfelt story.

I think this is a story that will resonate with a lot of people, especially with all that has happened in the last couple of years. I liked so many of the themes: forgiveness, second chances, family, friendship, strength, self-confidence, resilience. I loved both Laney and Jason as well as Laney's grandma. I also enjoyed getting to know Abbie in the past. Laney has a lot of trauma to work through as well as trying to decide who she is, who she would let into her life, and if she could forgive and trust in God. So many tough things to be able to move past and let go of, but also things to reach and hope for. I loved Jason's commitment to be there for Laney and how he worked through and was still working through his own trauma. I loved how open and accepting Laney's grandma was. How she just had unconditional love and how that resonated out to Laney in not only the emotion but in words and actions as well. The journey Laney goes through was hard to read, but also full of so many bright spots of hope and joy.

I want to share one part that I felt was especially poignant:
"I believe a God who heals sees our scars differently than we do. He's got a few of His own, after all. And they're not signs of pain and death, they're signs of victory."

There were some turns in the story and aspects that didn't work for me. The secondary story was a bit jarring at the beginning and drew me away. However, that did get better as the story went on and by the end, I was very invested. Also, towards the beginning there were some emotions and logic from Laney that felt forced. Sort of like the author wanted the character to come to a specific conclusion or feel a certain way that didn't feel natural. The romance was really quick. Almost insta-love and would have been if they didn't know each other previously. I really enjoyed this story until about the last fourth and then the story went downhill for me. Not every piece and character in a story needs to have resolution, with everyone changing for the better. A story can still end happily and there be a path towards hope without that. Most people who have been very self-focused don't change who they are and what they've done in a single moment. It would take more time and it feels very inconsistent and unrealistic when that happens. I also feel like it's emotionally and mentally healthy to learn to create boundaries and not let toxic people affect your life, regardless if they're family or not. You can still forgive, be happy, and have healthy boundaries. I think the story would have felt more authentic and genuine if it hadn't felt so forced and every single thing wasn't tied up so prettily.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was definitely a very poignant story with some good themes. I really liked the characters and their journey. The last part didn't work for me and definitely took away from how much I was liking this story. My issues may not be issues for other readers.

Content: Some references to self-harm, neglect, drinking, drugs, assault, teenage pregnancy, and death (both of a loved one and a teenager).
Source: I received a complimentary copy through JustRead Tours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Heidi Chiavaroli

Heidi Chiavaroli (pronounced shev-uh-roli...sort of like Chevrolet and ravioli mushed together!) wrote her first story in third grade, titled I'd Cross the Desert for Milk. It wasn't until years later that she revisited writing, using her two small boys' nap times to pursue what she thought at the time was a foolish dream. Despite a long road to publication, she hasn't stopped writing since! Heidi writes women's fiction, combining her love of history and literature to write both split time stories and contemporary fiction. Her debut novel, Freedom's Ring, was a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist, a Romantic Times Top Pick and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut. Her second Carol Award-winning novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott's life and led her to write The Orchard House Bed and Breakfast series, a contemporary twist on Little Women. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, and Wyatt, her standard poodle.

Connect with Heidi by visiting heidichiavaroli.com  to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Tour Schedule

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

The Way Back JustRead Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a print copy of The Way Back, themed canvas tote bag, bath salts, 3 specialty teas, ocean-inspired candle, magnet, gel pen, notebook, and $25 Amazon gift card!

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked above. Giveaway began at midnight June 19, 2024 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on June 26, 2024. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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