A review by raben_76325
Return by Karen Kingsbury, Gary Smalley


This is the third book of the Baxter Family Saga. At this point, there are three main protagonists, Kari, Ashley and Luke. Luke's story is the main story of this book. He has really spun off into rebellion against his parents, God, and all that he formerly held dear. At the same time, in New York, his former girlfriend is pregnant with his child. Will he ever find out about the child? Will he ever turn back to God? Will he ever reconcile with his family?

At the same time, we see glimpses of Kari and Ryan's life as they prepare for their wedding day. This is a really great payoff from the indecision and hesitancy that plagued their relationship throughout the first two books.

The other main character that we are graced with in this book is Ashley. Her and Landon's relationship continues to develop and hits a major speed bump or two. After all, they are in different cities and at different places in their lives. Will they ever actually get together?

I enjoyed this book, but I found it to be a little melodramatic. Ashley and Landon's story took up a good piece of the book, and I find it emotionally exhausting. Every time I think they're finally going to be happy, some other reason comes up that they can't be together. I'm hoping for some resolution in the next book because we didn't get it here, and the fact that there relationship is so melodramatic is a main reason that I had difficulty enjoying this book as much as the first two in this series.

I did find Luke's story to be interesting and I am glad that it has reached some resolution. I felt like his issues with faith and God were tied up a little too quickly and easily. As someone with a naturally skeptical nature, I did not find it to be believable, and I had doubts that Luke really had the faith doubts that he displays in the book because of how quick and tidy the resolution was. I also did not find the comparison with Peter to be believable for someone who is having faith doubts. However, I will grant that perhaps this is the author's way of showing us that perhaps instead of doubts, perhaps Peter just had some rebellious and unhappy feelings toward God. I always felt like Peter's denials were more of the "I need to save myself" type than the actual doubt in Jesus as his Messiah. That's just my interpretation though.

This book also introduces Brooke as the next major character in this series, and I am hoping that her story is great. I am also hoping to finally see some resolution on Ashley and Landon and an end to their exhausting drama in the next book.