Divorce papers haven't changed a thing for Dean. He's still as in love with his ex-wife as he'd always been. Despite the fact he's not the father of her unborn child, Dean is determined to help Creigh during her pregnancy--whether she wants him to or not.
Creigh has never stopped loving Dean, but she's not going to let him back in to her life just because she's expecting a child, especially since she is determined to keep the father's identity from Dean. But Dean refuses to be dismissed so easily. He knows that with a little patience, forgiveness, and love they can still live happily even after.
Divorce is a fact of life in America. In fact, current statistics point out that a higher percentage of marriages end in divorce now than ever before--well over 50%. Most of us know people who have endured the hurtful ending of a marriage, some being "amicable" with others looking just like "The War of the Roses." The marriage in this novel was a hurtful one, coming as a result of two people marrying when they were very young, bringing two children into the world, not really being ready for the pressures and challenges of nurturing a relationship while raising children, and not really knowing what to do to bridge the emotional gaps that have opened up between them.
Now both have come to the conclusion that the divorce was a mistake, and after living apart for a year, they are still struggling to move on and not knowing how to do that either. Add in the small but urgent matter of an unplanned pregnancy from an ill-thought-out one night stand and a broken condom, a baby that isn't her ex-husband's, and these two very nice, really loving people find themselves in a real "pickle" emotionally. Their kids are barely managing to adjust to being shuttled back and forth between their parents, and their daughter is now beginning to also have her own growing-up problems as a pre-teen. Messy, messy, messy!!
But at the heart of this story the reader will find two people who are solid in their love for their children, who have continued to love one another in spite of the hurt, misunderstandings, raw edges to their emotions, hurtful words spouted in stressful times, or that ever-present growing mound in Creigh's abdomen. These two people have been pals since they were in elementary school, lovers and spouses shortly after high school, and still believing they will always love each other. Somehow they have to find their way back to each other.
This novel is full of deep caring, authentic loving, family loyalty, and the push-pull that all relationships embody because that is what it means to be human. It is a story that showcases the ability of good people to overcome the worst that can happen and to allow that illusive "second chance" to become a reality.
I really like Lena Matthews' writing anyway. She is such a gifted writer who brings the African-American perspective into most of her stories and who never backs away from the stresses often found in interracial relationships. I have reviewed one of her other books for The Book Binge --Something Worth Fighting For -- and I find the same kind of sensitivity mixed with gutsy reality in this novel. It is one of those stories that was deeply satisfying and is one I will be re-visiting often in the years to come. I was sorry to see it end and was delighted to know there was a sequel. Please read it . . . I don't think you will be disappointed. I give it a rating of 5 out of 5.