Like a plate of the most delicious food you could imagine, I devoured To the Moon and Back.
Brady Bradshaw was a child when the Oklahoma City bombing killed his mother. Every year, Brady visits the memorial site on the anniversary to remember her. On one such trip, he met Jenna Phillips, who was also a child when her parents were killed in the attack. Brady and Jenna shared a deep heart connection and a single beautiful day together at the memorial. But after that, they never saw each other again.
Fast forward to present day. Ashley Baxter Blake with her sister Kari Baxter Taylor and their families take a spring break trip that includes a visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. While there, Ashley spots Brady. This moment leads Ashley to help Brady find Jenna, the girl he can’t forget.
This is the fourth book in Karen’s new Baxter Family Collection. Goodreads says it’s the third, but Goodreads is not counting A Baxter Family Christmas in this collection as it should. Anyway, if this is the first Baxter book you’ve come across, you can start right here without feeling lost. Karen does a good job of giving you a few details, but the end of the book has a look at the family … Who each member is, how old they are, who their kids are, etc. If you want a little Baxter history before starting, this is the one time I’ll give you permission to start at the end of the book, but no peeking at the ending to see how this story ends 😉
I’ve told myself over and over, “Don’t read Kingsbury books in public!” Once again I failed to hold back the tears. Each Kingsbury book makes me cry and this one is no exception. Sweet Amy, Ashley and Kari’s niece, breaks my heart. She has been through more pain (her story can be found in the book Coming Home) than I can imagine, but she is so strong. Karen captures her strength perfectly.
“The bombing didn’t just happen to the city. It was our tragedy. It’s personal for you and me. It happened to us.” ~Brady
Also heartbreaking is the fact that both Brady and Jenna lost parents to a terrorist attack. I was 17 at the time of the Oklahoma City Bombing and remember the news coverage. However, I know I didn’t fully understand what these people went through. I still don’t have a true grasp of their pain and the line above nailed it for me. If you weren’t there, I don’t think you can completely understand it.
God isn’t the reason bad things happen. He’s the rescue. God was the rescue in hard times, not the reason for them.
My daughter … remind him that in this world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world.
Something I’ve often wondered, and maybe you have too, is why bad things happen to good people? Couldn’t God stop these terrorist attacks and all the other terrible things that happen daily in this country? Karen touches on that subject with Brady and Jenna’s story as both experience of time of “Why God!”
If you have read the last three Kingsbury novels, you’ve probably noticed the angels from her Angels Walking series have made cameo appearances. I absolutely LOVE that she does this! Can you spot the angel in the pages of To the Moon and Back?
You don’t have to dig far to find the gems in the latest by Karen Kingsbury. This book is full of gems like hope, faith and love. Let God rescue you through its pages. I closed the book happy, peaceful and ready for Karen’s next book.
Rating: 4 stars
Title: To the Moon and Back
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Release Date: May 29, 2018