“Two Roads Home” by Deborah Raney

Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk. With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?

How much do you trust your husband?  How far will you go to have the comfortable, flashy lifestyle of which you’ve dreamed – and when is it time to trade in the style to follow God’s plan?  These are the questions that form the basis of Two Roads Home. 

Corinne and Jesse aren’t purposely following the world, but they’re not so sure that all is right in their own personal part of it.  The restlessness that plagues them seems minor when compared with the big problems that other people have, but they seem determined to grow.  This angle was my favorite part of this story.  It’s difficult for us to look outside of our own circumstance, and both Corinne and Jesse kept blinders on, even with each other.  Raney did an excellent job of detailing Corinne’s feelings in a realistic way, and I imagine that Jesse’s confusion is just as vivid.  Many ministries, blogs, and websites exist to help stay-at-home moms figure out how to deal with these feelings, and it’s always refreshing to see your frustration confirmed in print.

I appreciate Jesse’s honesty and the revelations he had when he could finally open up with himself.  He and Corinne were both determined, despite their recent tension, to follow their problems through to the end, and I appreciate that about this book.  Raney never really suggested divorce as a viable option, instead showing their stress and stubbornness to work everything out.

On the flip side, Raney wrote in some parenting crises with a somewhat unrealistic reaction.  I can’t imagine that not increasing any marital tension already in existence, and I think that this avenue could have been explored more – especially since trauma with children is a leading cause of divorce.

{Spoiler Alert}

Raney ramps up the suspense in Jesse’s stressful work situation throughout the book.  While it ultimately comes to somewhat of a personal resolution, the situation is never completely resolved.  The reader never learns the ultimate legal end to the problem, nor how it affects the children, the family, or the perpetrator.  I would definitely prefer a more complete resolution – but part of this cliffhanger ending set up the next book well.

{Spoiler Over}

All in all, I enjoyed this second book in the Chicory Inn series much more than the first.  The characters are more developed, and I could relate to their problems in a much more realistic way.  I’m quite interested in finding out what happens next!

I received a free copy of Two Road Home from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

What are your thoughts?

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