My brother and I bounced along in the back seat of the truck. Praise music was turned on fairly loudly in the front, and every once in a while one of us would look back to check on our load and make sure everything was staying in place. Already, we had stopped five or six times to try to tighten up straps enough to keep the tires on top of the things packed underneath them on the loaded trailer. It was a chore to make sure that they didn’t jiggle too far out—at one point, we had ended up with a tire dragging on the road, which isn’t very optimal in a high-speed zone!
However, by now, two and a half hours into our journey, things seemed to be settling down a bit. We were all heaving a tentative sigh of relief, especially since the last stop for a check had revealed that the most recent tighten-down and re-threading seemed to have worked. Finally able to relax some, and ready to enjoy the scenery, I checked the two chickens perched right behind our heads one more time. They seemed to be doing fine, with their cage securely fastened by a few bits of twine string to the bars across the back window of the truck. Their feathers were being blown around some, but not as much as they had been before we wrapped a coat around the more exposed sides of the cage.
Tugging my Kindle out of my bag, I was excited to finally be able to start the book I’d been waiting for several months to read, What Dreams May Come. And as the native bush, creeks, the occasional waterfall, and rivers slid by outside (and the chickens and tires stayed in place behind us), I lost myself in the story.
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I don’t quite remember what I expected when I started reading What Dreams May Come, aside from a fascinating story, but it did not disappoint in the slightest!
About the book:
She’s got her heart set on becoming a missionary. He’s determined to recruit her for the job.
But is it possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?
Susannah’s convinced that God has called her to the mission field. That’s why she’s serving him with single-minded focus in Orchard Grove, waiting for the day when she can leave her small town to take the gospel to the nations.
Is falling in love with her missionary recruiter part of God’s plan for her life or a distraction from the real goal?
Scott loves his life. Traveling the globe, offering spiritual support to missionaries around the world offers enough excitement that the loneliness hardly ever gets to him…
Until he receives an application from a young girl with a heart for the mission field as large as his own, a young girl he finds himself falling for even before they get the chance to meet face-to-face.
Unfortunately, a promise Susannah made to her family may tear her and Scott even farther apart than the miles that separate them.
Book one in an inspirational sweet romance series by award-winning Christian author Alana Terry, who has won awards from Women of Faith, The Book Club Network, Grace Awards, and several others, What Dreams May Come is based off of the author’s own experiences falling in love with (and eventually marrying) her missionary recruiter.
Oh, this book. I hope I can get it in print one day—I really enjoyed it!
The thing that most caught me off guard, I believe, was the fact that this story deals with an immense amount of pain—Susannah faces not only losing a parent, then a boyfriend, but the loss of a pile of dreams because of one commitment that could not be put off. Although this dealt with some pretty heavy subjects, it never came off as too much (although it was agony to have to stop part-way through!), nor unrealistic. I loved it.
There were times that I was almost crying with Susannah as she faced supporting her sister while somehow dealing with her own loss. Things came crashing around her more than once, and each one was so realistic.
Then, too, there were times I was laughing out loud due to different circumstances—whether from comedy, courtesy of a very curious but somewhat confused child (Woong is absolutely adorable!); or sheer relief that the things I thought might happen didn’t.
Pain, hope, and love mix to make this book a one-of-a-kind romance (well, in my experience, which is admittedly not as informed as it could be!). However, in the experience I do have, this book struck a deep chord with me.
I, too, like Susannah, have had hopes and dreams dashed when I was least expecting it. The struggle—the agony of loss—came through in this story without the hype often found in other books. And Susannah’s struggle, not only to come to grips with the past but try to make sense of the future, were ones I’ve faced in the not too distant past. So in some ways, this story felt like my story—so the solutions and hopes expressed in this felt like mine to claim too.
One of my favorite quotes was:
“He is the God who finishes what he begins. He is the God who brings it to completion. … He doesn’t place a calling on your life and fail to bring it to pass.” —Grandma Lucy
In all, I came away from What Dreams May Come feeling immensely encouraged, eager to find the next book in the series, and grateful to have had the chance to read this. If you’ve ever faced loss or want a sweet romance with a bit of the deeper struggles of life thrown in, I think this might be a good choice for you!
Note: I received this book for free from the author, and chose to share my opinions of the book.
Buy your copy here.
About the author:
Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. You can find her on her website at AlanaTerry.com.
Guest post by Alana Terry:
The cat’s out of the bag! Back in 2016, I wrote What Dreams May Come, a novel that was based on the way my husband and I fell in love … fourteen months before we ever met! It wasn’t until just before Christmas that I told Scott the romance novel I’d been writing was actually our true-to-life love story, and he was even more surprised than I hoped he’d be! Watch the video to see his reaction.
To celebrate her tour, Alana is giving away a $50 CBD gift card!
Click here to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
Other blog stops:
A Baker’s Perspective, February 8
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 8
Reading Is My SuperPower, February 9
Bigreadersite, February 9
Blogging With Carol, February 10
Zerina Blossom’s Books, February 10
Bibliophile Reviews, February 11
Purposeful Learning, February 11
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, February 12
C Jane Read, February 12
The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 13
Maureen’s Musings, February 13
Mommynificent, February 14
Texas Book-aholic, February 14
Mary Hake, February 15
Remembrancy, February 15
proud to be an autism mom, February 16
Avid Reader Book Reviews, February 16
A Greater Yes, February 17
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 17
Janices book reviews, February 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 18
Carpe Diem, February 19
margaret kazmierczak, February 19 (interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, February 20 (guest post from Mindy)
Pursuing Stacie, February 20
God is Love, February 21
Joy of Reading, February 21
Let’s discuss: What do you enjoy reading on long trips? Or do you do something else then? What’s one book that has encouraged you in an area you had recently struggled in?
Kay Garrett says
Thank you for the review on “What Dreams May Come” and for being part of the book tour!
I’d love to have the chance to read this book.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
Esther Filbrun says
Thanks for stopping by! I’m sure you’d enjoy it, too. Hope you get the chance to read it soon!
Really enjoyed your review. Thanks for sharing!
A. J. Terry says
Thank you so much for your honest review. I’m glad you enjoyed this romance.
Esther Filbrun says
Thanks for stopping by! And yes, I loved it!