Title: All Our Empty Places
Author: Alicia G. Ruggieri
Series: A Time of Grace, Book 2
Major Themes: Rhode Island, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: Sarah Picoletti can’t see any way to solve her problems except to marry the man who abandoned her 20 years ago—but when more problems come her way, what can she do?
I found The Fragrance of Geraniums in my Kindle a couple of weeks ago when I wanted something easy to read, and liked it so well that I decided to read the entire trilogy. All Our Empty Places begins where the first book leaves off. I found it almost as good as the first, although it felt like it dragged somewhat; I kept wanting a resolution to the conflict Sarah was experiencing, and it took a long time to come!
Sarah is now a widow, since her husband suddenly died, leaving her in abject poverty in their hometown in Rhode Island. Now, things are even worse. She has not been able to pay her electric or butcher’s bills for several months, and now the banker has warned her that he must foreclose the end of the month. The only option she can see for herself, Grace, and Cliff, is to go to New Jersey to live with her brother. She has another problem to deal with, as well; Sam, the doctor to whom she was engaged as a teenager, who broke their engagement to please his father, is now back in her life after his wife, and her husband, both died. There is no way Sarah can ever trust him again—can she?
Sarah can see no way out of her dilemma but to marry Sam. She determines that she will make a good wife for him. However, every direction she turns, things seem to go against her. Cliff is in trouble, the people at church look down on her and she knows that they know that she is trying to be “above her station.” Then things get even worse when her son Ben shows up. Sarah can’t take it any longer.
Meanwhile, Grace is struggling with her feelings for Paulie, Sam’s son, who befriended her several years ago and nearly said that he loves her. She knows she loves him—but now he has pulled back and is acting rather coolly toward her. Why? What is going on? Both Sarah and Grace have a lot to work through. Even though they have both given their lives to Jesus and know that they have new hearts, life is still very difficult.
I really enjoyed All Our Empty Places, although I was frustrated with Sarah and her apparent blindness to Sam’s love. As in the first book, there were several points of view which alternated, although not as many. It was not confusing to me, however; I always knew whose head I was in. As soon as I finished this book, I eagerly started the next! I appreciated the spiritual aspect of this book. Sam had a lot of wisdom, but was not able to help Sarah to see the truth. She could not change until God opened her eyes to a particular verse that spoke to her need. The lesson she learned was one that we all need to learn.
WARNING: I wasn’t planning to write a review, so didn’t keep track. There was a fight at one point, between a drunken man and some people who were trying to help him. He used a few strong words in the scenes in which he appeared.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults