This book, Dear Jane by Rachel Ward is the first LDS book I have reviewed on my blog, and the first LDS book I have read in a very long time. Although readers who aren’t LDS will not get all the jargon used in this book, as it is specific to the religion, this book is such a beauty, and worth a read!
This is a hard letter to write. I have been thinking a lot about us for the past few weeks, and I can’t shake the feeling that we just aren’t meant to be…”
Quinn had her life perfectly planned out when she left on her mission: come home in eighteen months, marry her stunningly handsome boyfriend, and live happily ever after. But all of that changed when Quinn got a Dear Jane email from the man she thought she was meant to be with. Now she’s stuck at home with no boyfriend, no job, no major, and absolutely no social life.
As Quinn struggles to find her path forward, she begins to learn that life is not perfect and happily-ever-afters don’t always turn out how we expect them to. Will Quinn ever find the path that leads to her eternal happiness?
Quin dated Josh before her mission, and it seemed a given that he would wait. So to receive an email three months before the end of her mission telling her he is getting married to someone else blows her away. The little snake never even hinted he was dating someone else. Now I have little problems with someone breaking up with someone else (even when they are on their mission), but he was very mean about it, and never even gave Quin an idea that he was dating someone else. He sure is a piece of work.
When Quin gets back off of her mission, she is single, without a job, and a little alone and lost like most returned missionaries feel at some point shortly after their mission.
She applies for a job, and gets hired on the spot, only to find out that one of the partners at the realtor’s office is the annoying elder, Nick Ryan from her mission who she kind of hates.
Add to that all the drama that unfolds at home with her brother’s marriage falling apart, and her aunt dying, and she is faced with a few very hard realities in life.
This book was a fun read. It had me turning pages just to see where it would take me. I found myself connecting with Quin, but also getting a little annoyed with her at times. She had to face some very tough times, and found help, friendship and even love in the most unlikely of places, at least to her, I saw it coming 🙂
I liked the whole concept of Quin’s eyes being opened to the harshness of life, without losing herself, and her spunk and faith. Having never served a mission myself, I can’t imagine exactly what it is like to come back, but I have seen others do it many a times, and I have heard them share their own personal hiccups. I felt for her, and loved to read the growth she went through. She found the strength to deal with the bad, and still see all the good, and help others on her way see that also. Not everyone has that strength, not everyone has that desire. Even though this reads as a light and fun read, this covers some hard and deep issues, and makes you think about how you would face them yourself. I have faced a few of these issues, so in that respect I can relate.
This is the first book by Rachel Ward, and what an excellent start! I hope Miss Ward will continue writing, and broaden her horizon to romance that is not LDS per se, as I feel she will reach a much broader group of readers. We clean readers need more authors like her out there!
About the Author
Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University¬—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug. Rachel lives in Salt Lake with her six children and husband of 15 years.