Learning To Live Again
Take Me Home by Beth Moran is a delightful contemporary novel that warmed my heart and made me smile.
The novel is about friendship and love. The fragrance of love wafts over the whole novel. It is a love between friends that brings out the best in each other. It is a love that looks for goodness. It is a love that builds up and doesn’t tear down. It is a love that gives strength and encouragement to others, helping them to live abundantly free.
A character is suffering from a trauma that has held her captive for years. She has hidden from the world, never getting close to anyone for fear that they would leave. A locked-up heart is free from new hurts but cocooned in old pain. The locks need to be severed and a character needs to learn to take a chance on love and begin to live again.
We see the hurt that so-called family members inflicted on a life – literally and figuratively locking a character up and damaging her for decades.
We see a love that does not die. The years pass but the love remains.
Cherished, Loved, Cheered On
Always On My Mind by Beth Moran is the most beautiful contemporary novel that has warmed my heart and left me smiling.
I never wanted the book to end. The characters were more than just characters in a book – they were my friends and as such, I cared for their fates.
This is a book about love and forgiveness. There are many types of love within the novel – and the reader stands on the touchline, cheering them all on.
We see the love for a group of elderly people. Life seems to have forgotten that they were once young, and put them in a box marked ‘Elderly. Listen to Vera Lynn while tea dancing.’ They were once young, vibrant individuals and inside each one of them, nothing has changed. They still have hopes and dreams which are encouraged by the appearance of the young and bubbly lead character. There are moments that are absolutely hilarious – I don’t think I shall ever forget the make-over experience! Juxtaposed are moments of pathos where tissues are needed.
We see a character drowning in guilt and unforgiveness, who has a self-imposed exile on her life. “Punishing myself hadn’t changed anything.” Why is the face in the mirror so hard to forgive? We forgive others but are really tough on ourselves. A carefully worn mask hardly ever slips. We learn of the loving care given to her by an elderly woman several years earlier. “What I needed most was a place to take off the suffocating mask of acting as if I was fine and let the tears fall without having to explain.” We all need that one person who will sit quietly with us and just let us be ourselves. No words. No explanations. Just pure love. This love and bond with remain.