Since You've Been Gone
A Selah Award winner.One moment, Olivia Kavanaugh is preparing to walk down the aisle and embrace her own happily ever after. The next, she learns that her fiancé, Wyatt Hammond, has been in a fatal car accident. Then comes a startling discovery: Wyatt’s car wasn’t heading toward the church. He was fifty miles away…with a baby gift in the backseat.Her faith shaken, Olivia pores over the clues left behind, desperate to know where Wyatt was going that day and why. As she begins uncovering secrets, she also navigates a tense relationship with her judgmental mother and tries to ignore the attentions of a former boyfriend who’s moved back home. But when she starts receiving letters written by Wyatt before his death, she must confront a disturbing question: Can we ever know anyone fully, even someone we love?When an unexpected path forward—though nothing like the life she once envisioned—offers the promise of a new beginning, will she be strong enough to let go of the past and move toward it?

Since You've Been Gone Details

TitleSince You've Been Gone
Author
ReleaseOct 11th, 2016
PublisherBrilliance Audio
ISBN-139781531837419
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Christian Fiction, Christian, Romance

Since You've Been Gone Review

  • Shalini
    January 1, 1970
    I picked up this book reading the blurb, thinking this is about a strong woman, Olivia who, after being jilted at the alter when her fiancé dies in an accident on a road 50 miles away from the church with a baby gift in the back seat, and going through various hardships, discovers life again. The premise of the story sounded so interesting that I started the book in the middle of the night. The author, Christa Allen, had a great plot in mind when she started writing this book. The entire book is I picked up this book reading the blurb, thinking this is about a strong woman, Olivia who, after being jilted at the alter when her fiancé dies in an accident on a road 50 miles away from the church with a baby gift in the back seat, and going through various hardships, discovers life again. The premise of the story sounded so interesting that I started the book in the middle of the night. The author, Christa Allen, had a great plot in mind when she started writing this book. The entire book is Olivia's story and the hardships she goes through after her fiancé's death. The author has conveyed main character Olivia' s doubt about Wyatt's intentions, pain at her loss, insecurity about her future, her inability to connect with her mother, all emotions pretty well. But this comes through the book only in bits and pieces. The main character, Olivia is a bit of an escapist, she dithers between wanting to know the truth and to hide in her ignorance. She doesn't appear strong throughout the book, does not take control of her life, in fact, she procrastinates everything. I wanted her to be a woman of substance, and to grow up, be a bit more mature especially in the face of adversity. But she manages that only occasionally. The supporting characters have their own ideologies and their own reasoning though they do not make valid sense, especially the mother. But to each his own. The only character I enjoyed Olivia's grandmother, Ruthie. She was a delightful character, more fun, more enjoyable than any of the other characters. She had more joie de vivre than anyone I have recently met, both fictional and non fictional. Overall an enjoyable read
    more
  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    This novel was well written and the story line engaging. I was pulled into Olivia's story right away. While the novel was primarily about how Olivia recovered from the shock of losing her intended on their wedding day, it was also about the strained relationship between a mother and daughter. In addition, there was a bit of a mystery regarding Olivia's fiancee Wyatt.This was my first novel by Christa Allan and I look forward to reading others.
    more
  • Betty
    January 1, 1970
    With a blurb like that, how could I resist this book?!Olivia’s life has been turned upside down with Wyatt’s death, and the mystery surrounding where he was going—and why—on the morning of their wedding. She’s still in the raw, early stages of grief when she’s dealt more shocking news. Needing her family more than ever, she’s deeply hurt by her mother’s rigid attitude and lack of support at a time when she needs her mother more than ever.Olivia’s mother is noteworthy because she is the first Chr With a blurb like that, how could I resist this book?!Olivia’s life has been turned upside down with Wyatt’s death, and the mystery surrounding where he was going—and why—on the morning of their wedding. She’s still in the raw, early stages of grief when she’s dealt more shocking news. Needing her family more than ever, she’s deeply hurt by her mother’s rigid attitude and lack of support at a time when she needs her mother more than ever.Olivia’s mother is noteworthy because she is the first Christian fiction character I ever read whom I disliked intensely due to her interpretation of her faith. That’s not to say I didn’t understand how she could be the way she was, because I did. Still, it didn’t make her a very likable character, in my opinion. But maybe that was the point?The slow reveal of what Wyatt was doing on the day he died was very well done. I liked how—through his posthumously-delivered letters to Olivia—we were able to get into his head and understand why he chose to do what he did, and why he kept it hidden from her.Overall, I enjoyed reading this story, but I did find myself somewhat irritated with the ending. All I could think was: Hasn’t that poor woman been through enough already?! It felt like an easy solution to a sticky faith-related topic, and I didn’t care for it. I will allow, however, that it wasn’t a situation out of the realm of possibility… it worked. But I still didn’t like it.I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley.
    more
  • Kara
    January 1, 1970
    It's interesting to me how some people who've gone through a difficult death in their life can read books about characters who are going through similar feelings, while others cannot. I can see where both ways would be very natural. Right after my mother passed away, I don't think I could have read a story such as this, I would have been way too emotional. But now? Now I completely connected with Olivia and so much of what she deals with emotionally in this story! I'm not sure I would have even It's interesting to me how some people who've gone through a difficult death in their life can read books about characters who are going through similar feelings, while others cannot. I can see where both ways would be very natural. Right after my mother passed away, I don't think I could have read a story such as this, I would have been way too emotional. But now? Now I completely connected with Olivia and so much of what she deals with emotionally in this story! I'm not sure I would have even wanted to try this book prior to experiencing a loss in my life. Maybe, maybe not. But either way, I'm so glad I tried it now.It was really the emotions that Olivia goes through, from anger and frustration to grief and heartache to all the myriad of feelings that are almost indescribable even to the one feeling them, that captivated me throughout this novel. Emotions are so very personal and we never know how we're going to react to certain situations. Olivia's emotional upheaval felt very real to me, they fluctuate and come and go, they don't even make sense sometimes, which is very true to life.As for Olivia herself? She's not very likable in the beginning. Yet that's part of her journey, realizing the parts of herself that need changing, and by the end I was solidly on her side. She has a lot of growth to go through and begins to realize how lost she is, how much she cannot do on her own. Her relationship with her parents, especially, is quite turbulent. I have to admit that I didn't really like Olivia's mother. I think that was the point, but she reacted so judgmentally. I really wanted her to see that how she was acting was not coming across as loving at all, hence why Olivia reacted so strongly in retaliation. But Ruthy, Olivia's grandmother, on the other hand? I loved her! She was a breath of fresh air every time she entered the scene, imparting wisdom and truth into her granddaughter's life. Working through her family relationships is not easy and requires much patience as each step forward seems to come with a half step back. But little by little, Olivia's chaos begins to settle and I was happy to see it!Ms. Allan's writing flows easily, although I did think some of the flashback scenes, especially in the beginning, got a little confusing since we jumped back and forth between them and present day with not much explanation. As the story went on, things smoothed out a little better, which I appreciated. The romance is quiet and in the background, with just enough sweetness to keep me grinning. I liked Evan quite a bit! All in all, it's a simple story with lots of layers. As they peel back one by one, there is a lot of heart to be found and enjoyed! :)**I received a complimentary copy from the author via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
    more
  • krystal
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first ARC. I got it from Netgalley in ebook format.The story itself is really intriguing. Here we have a jilted bride who discovers her fiancé has not only driven away from the wedding, but was killed in a car accident, offering no explanation as to why he has disappeared. Interesting, right? Well...the problem was the approach. I understand that Olivia would be incredibly upset and bit catty, but this character was almost juvenile. She was in her late twenties and was flat-out awful This was my first ARC. I got it from Netgalley in ebook format.The story itself is really intriguing. Here we have a jilted bride who discovers her fiancé has not only driven away from the wedding, but was killed in a car accident, offering no explanation as to why he has disappeared. Interesting, right? Well...the problem was the approach. I understand that Olivia would be incredibly upset and bit catty, but this character was almost juvenile. She was in her late twenties and was flat-out awful to everyone in this novel. She, however, was not the only troubling character. Her parents, more specifically, her mother, were unbelievable. This may just be because I live in the Pacific Northwest and I'm used to people being PNW-friendly, but the mother was basically a cartoon, reinforcing stereotypes held by media. Her friends weren't entirely great either. And that love interest? Please. I'm a firm believer that not all Christian novels need to have a great crisis of faith or a salvation story (much like all Christian artists do not need to sing about Jesus in every song they write). The Christian taboos this story brings up could have been done in a much more subtle way. She could have been a jilted bride who also happened to be from a religious background. Instead she was a girl with a religious background who also happened to be jilted at the bride. This story is intriguing, but the outlandish characters, the unbelievable love story, and the immaturity of the narrator made me drag my feet through its completion. Here's to hoping you find better luck. Perhaps I'm just cynical.
    more
  • April
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars Since You've Been Gone is the first book that I have read by Allan. And as is the case with any new to you Author, you are not sure what to expect. From the beginning, Allan hooked me in. The mystery with all the circumstances of Wyatt's death will pull you all the way through the novel. To be honest, this novel left me with mixed emotions. I would say that the first half of the book had me completely glued but then things slowed down and I got a little frustrated. I won't pretend tha 3.5 Stars Since You've Been Gone is the first book that I have read by Allan. And as is the case with any new to you Author, you are not sure what to expect. From the beginning, Allan hooked me in. The mystery with all the circumstances of Wyatt's death will pull you all the way through the novel. To be honest, this novel left me with mixed emotions. I would say that the first half of the book had me completely glued but then things slowed down and I got a little frustrated. I won't pretend that I can understand all the grief, anger and other emotions a person caught up in these circumstances would feel. I will say that, I believe Allan wrote out her character, Olivia with a lot of thought and honesty. Which at times made me want to shake Olivia and wake her up out of her self-focused, cloud of grief. There were aspects to Olivia's character that I just did not like, but she was not a unlikeable character. She, as well as other characters in this novel, particularly her mother both had a mixed up view of God. I was really hoping, to see more come out of this novel faith wise for these women than I did. Not to say that there was not growth, there was, but it lacked where I hoped and thought it could have gone. While Olivia looked to blame God (or others) for everything and kept herself at a distance from Him. Her mother acted more like the Pharisees Jesus encountered . Ruthie, Olivia's Grandmother seemed to have a better grasp on God, grace and faith. She was, one of my favorite characters. However, there was one thing that she said that bothered me. I got the heart of what she was saying, and maybe it is just semantics, but still it dug at me. Towards the end of the novel she tells Olivia, "Being a victim is a decision. Happiness is a decision, too. I don't believe in Santa-Claus God, but He does want us to be happy.". Really, God wants us to be holy. He allows things in our lives to draw us closer to Him, and to be refined. He desires for us to seek Him and to trust Him. Our life's purpose is to glorify Him and to enjoy Him. There is a difference between happiness, which is circumstantial, and the joy that is from Him (not circumstantial). We are never promised happiness on this earth, we are in fact told to expect trials. But Ruthie is right in that it is a choice. We must choose Him, choose joy.Overall, this was a good read and it does give you some things to ponder. Also, this is currently available with Kindle Unlimited!
    more
  • Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
    January 1, 1970
    Since You’ve Been Gone by Christa Allan is one of those books that you ugly cry through and then shove at everyone you know, saying “Read this! You’ll love it!”Right from the prologue, readers are drawn not only to Olivia but also the mystery of where her fiance was going the morning of their wedding and why he had a baby gift in the back seat. Olivia’s pain is raw and honest, her questions about God authentic and natural. And this isn’t the end of the story… or the grief… or the anger. Yet just Since You’ve Been Gone by Christa Allan is one of those books that you ugly cry through and then shove at everyone you know, saying “Read this! You’ll love it!”Right from the prologue, readers are drawn not only to Olivia but also the mystery of where her fiance was going the morning of their wedding and why he had a baby gift in the back seat. Olivia’s pain is raw and honest, her questions about God authentic and natural. And this isn’t the end of the story… or the grief… or the anger. Yet just when you think you – and Olivia – can’t possibly take more heartwrenching emotion, Allan inserts moments of light and levity to ease the ache a bit.The story is told from Olivia’s perspective, which makes her a bit of an unreliable narrator, but it also allows the reader to absorb the novel’s events on a deeper level. As Olivia discovers information – or doesn’t – so do we. As she tenses up under her mother’s criticism and rejection, so do we. As she relaxes into her daddy’s embrace or her grandmother’s wisdom, so do we. As her mind keeps going back to that baby gift in her Jeep, so does ours.Olivia’s grandmother Ruthie is my favorite character in the book, along with her best friend Mia’s daughter. These two bring warmth and humor to the mix, and they more than make up for Olivia’s mother who needs a good purse whomping. The contrast between Ruthie and Scarlett (Olivia’s mom) and their approach both to Jesus and to Olivia made the book even more intriguing to me.Bottom Line: Go ahead and grab a big box of tissues. You’ll need it nearly right away, but toward the last fourth of the book just go ahead and embrace the ugly cry. Because while Olivia’s story will hurt your heart, it will also heal it. In between, you will smile and cheer and hope. And through it all, Olivia and Wyatt and the other characters in Since You’ve Been Gone will carve a spot in that bruised heart of yours so that they linger with you long after you’ve quit reading.(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.)See my review at Reading Is My SuperPower
    more
  • Marisa Enriquez
    January 1, 1970
    First time reader of this author. I don't normally read spiritual books, but this one captivated me. At points in the story my heart broke for Olivia to the point where I considered not finishing the story, but I was so intrigued that I had to finish reading it. This book will bring you to tears (and at times frustrate you with the mother character) but you will be glad to read it to the end. Highly recommend this book!** downloaded for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
    more
  • Lisa Loving
    January 1, 1970
    Truly bad The writing was part mommy blogger, part soapOpera. This book was poison to the eyes, plotless, and so cringe inducing I need physical therapy now. This book is an insult to literacy. Also, the protagonist “zapped” things in the microwave about 6000 times. I have cancer now from the radiation. Also, NO ONE SAYS “Zapoed” in real life.
    more
  • AngryGreyCat
    January 1, 1970
    Since You’ve Been Gone is about a young woman whose fiancé is killed on her wedding day, on a road leading away from the church with a “baby” gift in his car. Olivia deals with her grief by investigating where Wyatt was going on their wedding day.The entire investigation piece did not make much sense to me at all. I don’t want to discuss details and have spoilers, just let’s say that Olivia and others were much more of a hinderance in getting to the truth of the matter than a help. Anyone with a Since You’ve Been Gone is about a young woman whose fiancé is killed on her wedding day, on a road leading away from the church with a “baby” gift in his car. Olivia deals with her grief by investigating where Wyatt was going on their wedding day.The entire investigation piece did not make much sense to me at all. I don’t want to discuss details and have spoilers, just let’s say that Olivia and others were much more of a hinderance in getting to the truth of the matter than a help. Anyone with an ounce of common sense could have straightened this whole mess out much sooner.My other issue with the book and this might be my own fault, I didn’t realize this was Christian fiction. I don’t generally read Christian fiction, but I have read a few that I have enjoyed. This was so heavy-handed with the preachiness that I really found it distracting from the story. Not a book that worked for me.
    more
  • Kim (_booksarelove)
    January 1, 1970
    This was the first ARC that I have read, I got it from Netgalley in ebook format.We follow Olivia who loses her fiance on the day of their wedding. After that it feels as though her whole life is falling apart. She, along with the help of her best friend Mia, her Grandmother and her parents (even if her mother is painful at times), rebuilds her life.I really enjoyed this book, it had a good message. Even if life seems to be awful and knocking you around at every turn, you need to choose to be ha This was the first ARC that I have read, I got it from Netgalley in ebook format.We follow Olivia who loses her fiance on the day of their wedding. After that it feels as though her whole life is falling apart. She, along with the help of her best friend Mia, her Grandmother and her parents (even if her mother is painful at times), rebuilds her life.I really enjoyed this book, it had a good message. Even if life seems to be awful and knocking you around at every turn, you need to choose to be happy and move forward, no matter what; and take it one day at a time.This book was well written and easy to follow. I was in first person, and we were reading from Olivia's POV. I laughed and I cried. This book brought out so many feelings, but I loved it!My full review will be up on my blog soon, so stay tuned! Head to www.kim22blog.wordpress.com to check it out! :)
    more
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    What would you do if life changed in an instant?Olivia was about to walk down the aisle and become Wyatt's wife when she got word that he was not coming. Not today, tomorrow or ever. He couldn't because he died in an auto accident, going out of town!She was stunned of course, shaken to the core. Devastated, distraught and confused.Her faith was shaken also. Expecting to move in with her parents, she finds out mom has other ideas.Now I won't give anything else away except that there are letters a What would you do if life changed in an instant?Olivia was about to walk down the aisle and become Wyatt's wife when she got word that he was not coming. Not today, tomorrow or ever. He couldn't because he died in an auto accident, going out of town!She was stunned of course, shaken to the core. Devastated, distraught and confused.Her faith was shaken also. Expecting to move in with her parents, she finds out mom has other ideas.Now I won't give anything else away except that there are letters and a mystery and well oh I LOVED grandma!!  I really enjoyed reading this through  kindle unlimited. If I could have read it in one sitting I would have but life had other plans.
    more
  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Listen or Read ...which ever u do prefer ...love it! what an uplifting story of a woman's terrible heartbreak as well as her spiritual separation from her fam & her Lord. be sure to have some tissues, what a listen or read ... but i enjoyed it. love this writing style, these characters ...so well developed. I find a lot of these listen & read books - have been books that a lot of reviewers are saying that they were a bit confused or lost ...i wonder if they had listened to the book if th Listen or Read ...which ever u do prefer ...love it! what an uplifting story of a woman's terrible heartbreak as well as her spiritual separation from her fam & her Lord. be sure to have some tissues, what a listen or read ... but i enjoyed it. love this writing style, these characters ...so well developed. I find a lot of these listen & read books - have been books that a lot of reviewers are saying that they were a bit confused or lost ...i wonder if they had listened to the book if they would have been as lost or confused?? i feel it helps ur ears / mind to grab it all and pull it into your mind digesting so to speak??! i enjoy it ... made it more easily understood or taken in by myself?!
    more
  • Nenette
    January 1, 1970
    A tear jerker supposedly... The groom dying while the bride waited at the altar; secrets coming out, but with no groom to answer all the questions. This is the kind of story that I'd bet would have me engrossed, pouting and crying while my family looked on with amusement.I was either too busy that I was reading on and off and wasn't really able to get into the story; or it just didn't pull me all the way. It still is not beckoning me to read it again. Thus, three stars to be fair.
    more
  • Katrina
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed reading Since You've Been Gone! It was an emotional read. The description and cover caught my attention. I was curious about the answers to my questions that formed while I was reading. I felt like some places in this story had a little too much drama but I still enjoyed this story. When I had to set the book down, I kept thinking about this story and wanted to jump back into it. I will look for more books by this author. I received a free copy of this book from netgalley.
    more
  • Melissa Henderson
    January 1, 1970
    Olivia's wedding day is completely different from what she expected and planned. Wyatt is supposed to meet her at the church. But, where is he? What has happened to him? From the first page of this story, Olivia and Wyatt captured my heart. This is a story of true love and devotion, along with heartache and happiness. I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys reading about love and forgiveness. I received a copy of this book for review and this is my honest opinion.
    more
  • Ann E Abfalter
    January 1, 1970
    Ok The story executed well enough to hold the reader's interest, but the mystery was weak and with the way to sweet sentimentality of a pecan praline.
  • Deana Dick
    January 1, 1970
    How to start my review? I guess the best way is to say that the story was riveting, emotional and so powerful that I never put the book down until I finished it. I have not read a book from this author before, but wow does she have a way to make a story come to life. Her characters were so real, I felt like I was sitting beside Olivia as each painful journey she took was mixed with tears and disappointment. On the day you are to be married, you realize your groom is not going to show up, so what How to start my review? I guess the best way is to say that the story was riveting, emotional and so powerful that I never put the book down until I finished it. I have not read a book from this author before, but wow does she have a way to make a story come to life. Her characters were so real, I felt like I was sitting beside Olivia as each painful journey she took was mixed with tears and disappointment. On the day you are to be married, you realize your groom is not going to show up, so what do you do? For Olivia that day will forever be a painful, and sorrowful day. Why did her fiancé not show up? As you read the story you begin to see the man Wyatt , her fiancé was. He loved Olivia with everything he had, but on their wedding day, a trajedy happens that will bring secrets to the surface. I loved Olivia instantly and thought her character was someone I would want to be friends with. She is smart, pretty and full of life. There is one thing she is struggling with , though. She has a hard time understanding why her parents believe in God. Her mother is very critical of her and their relationship was difficult at times. I loved the scenes when they argued as it brought realism to the story. Parts of the story really hit home for me and I knew I was going to cry before I finished the book. It is hard to love someone who always says negative things to you. As their fights became an almost daily thing, Olivia was beginning to distance herself from her mom. I loved how the story showed us that forgiveness can tear down bitterness and restore relationships. Olivia's journey to trust in God is very well written and I enjoyed reading her transformation. She endures tragedies and feels like God is punishing her. Have you ever felt that way? Throughout the story , Olivia's grandmother is a very gentle person who reminds Olivia that God does not hate her. The story is filled with deep emotions and the ending is one you won't forget. I'm so glad I read this story because it reminded me how fragile life is. Take time everyday to tell those you love how important they are. Remember that God is always there and forgiveness will set you free. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The review is my own opinion and I was not compensated for it.
    more
  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE is told entirely in first person by the main character, Olivia. She was to be married to Wyatt, but he doesn't show up at the wedding. His body is found later that day with his truck, having missed a curve and crashed into trees, headed in the opposite direction of the church. No one knows where he was going. After Olivia recovers enough to retrace his drive, she gets the police report and discovers there was a package in his vehicle, wrapped as for a young child. For even SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE is told entirely in first person by the main character, Olivia. She was to be married to Wyatt, but he doesn't show up at the wedding. His body is found later that day with his truck, having missed a curve and crashed into trees, headed in the opposite direction of the church. No one knows where he was going. After Olivia recovers enough to retrace his drive, she gets the police report and discovers there was a package in his vehicle, wrapped as for a young child. For even more to deal with, Olivia is pregnant with Wyatt's baby, which does not go over well with her mother. The relationships in this book are complicated, especially between Olivia and her mother. Sometimes it was difficult to like Olivia, but I had to remind myself that she was going through an awfully rough time, and dealing with it from the point of view of a person who has abandoned her relationship with God, so she thinks God is punishing her. My favorite character was her grandmother, Ruthie, who provided the wisdom and unconditional love Olivia needed. As Olivia discovers more about where Wyatt was headed the day of their wedding, and why, deals with another tragedy, and has to decide what to do with her life, she also has to decide if she will listen to Ruthie's advice to "choose joy" or continue to wallow in self-pity. I received a copy of the book from Goodreads but was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
    more
  • Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)
    January 1, 1970
    I was immediately drawn to this storyline just by reading the summary. I just could not imagine what happened to Olivia happening in real life and needed to know what had happened to her fiancée. Of course, my mind automatically imagines the worst, and part of me was so tempted to just turn to the back to find out the truth. But alas, I decided it was much better to read the story in full, and learn all the details as Olivia was. Ms. Allan is a beautiful storyteller. Not only is she wonderfully I was immediately drawn to this storyline just by reading the summary. I just could not imagine what happened to Olivia happening in real life and needed to know what had happened to her fiancée. Of course, my mind automatically imagines the worst, and part of me was so tempted to just turn to the back to find out the truth. But alas, I decided it was much better to read the story in full, and learn all the details as Olivia was. Ms. Allan is a beautiful storyteller. Not only is she wonderfully descriptive, she also writes thought out comparisons that give me an even better feel for the settings as well as character traits. I highly recommend not skimming through this book, as I felt each and every sentence contributed. I found myself do that once and had to go back and reread because I felt as if I had missed something. I found myself hooked on the sub storylines just as much as what I felt was the main one (finding out what Wyatt was doing). I painfully read about Olivia's relationship with her mother, and at times I really wish I could have jumped into the book to shake her mother. Although some may find this part of the story a little dragged out, I did not. Let's face it. In real life people don't change overnight. I liked seeing gradual changes in this woman and her relationship with Olivia. Little by little I could see myself starting to sympathize with her.I also enjoyed seeing Olivia grow as a person. I think character growth is extremely important in a book and Ms. Allan got this one right. Again, it wasn't a drastic overnight change and I was ok with that. It made the story that much more real and believable. Overall I thought this was a very touching story. You won't be sorry you picked it up. And take it from me, you do not want to skip to the end. Enjoy Olivia's journey as much as her destination! I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have given an honest review and all thoughts are my own.
    more
  • Iola
    January 1, 1970
    It’s every bride’s worst nightmare: jilted at the altar. And then things get worse. No, Olivia wasn’t jilted—her husband-to-be died in a car accident just hours before the wedding. While driving away from the church. With a gift for a small boy in the car—except neither Olivia nor Wyatt know any small boys. And then Olivia finds out she’s pregnant. Which wouldn’t have mattered if she were married, but she’s not and now her mother is barely speaking to her because what will Scarlett’s church frie It’s every bride’s worst nightmare: jilted at the altar. And then things get worse. No, Olivia wasn’t jilted—her husband-to-be died in a car accident just hours before the wedding. While driving away from the church. With a gift for a small boy in the car—except neither Olivia nor Wyatt know any small boys. And then Olivia finds out she’s pregnant. Which wouldn’t have mattered if she were married, but she’s not and now her mother is barely speaking to her because what will Scarlett’s church friends think when they find out?This is Christian fiction, and is fascinating for the two views of Christianity it presents: faith vs works. Doing the right thing vs being seen to do the right thing. Displaying God’s love in action vs … not. Scarlett, Olivia's mother, is like too many people in church: not prepared to do what most people would think was right because of how it might reflect on her. Ruthie, Scarlett’s mother and Olivia’s grandmother, doesn’t care what people think. Behind the awkward relationship between Olivia and her mother is the even more awkward situation regarding Wyatt … which her parents initially hid from her, a decision which provokes even more fractures in an already-fragile relationship. Why was he heading away from town? Where was he going? Who was the gift for? And does Olivia really want to know? Okay, so the plot is obviously full of questions which hooked me immediately as a reader. The characters were fascinating, especially the contrast between Ruthie and Scarlett (and with Olivia’s poor father pulled between the twin loves of his wife and his daughter). And the writing was outstanding. There were so many good lines, so many truths, Christian truths and life truths. Olivia has a lot to learn in both areas, and she does. Yes, when I grow up, I want to write like Christa Allan.Recommended. Thanks to Waterfall Press and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
    more
  • Fiction Aficionado
    January 1, 1970
    You’ll need to grab your tissue box for this one, but don’t let that prevent you from picking it up, because it was SUCH a good read! Once again, I’ve left a novel languishing on my TBR pile for much too long!Christa Allan is a new to me author, and I picked this novel up simply because my curiosity got the better of me. I HAD to know where Wyatt was going and why there was a baby gift in the back seat. Despite what her mother says, Olivia can’t believe Wyatt was going to jilt her, but it’s a co You’ll need to grab your tissue box for this one, but don’t let that prevent you from picking it up, because it was SUCH a good read! Once again, I’ve left a novel languishing on my TBR pile for much too long!Christa Allan is a new to me author, and I picked this novel up simply because my curiosity got the better of me. I HAD to know where Wyatt was going and why there was a baby gift in the back seat. Despite what her mother says, Olivia can’t believe Wyatt was going to jilt her, but it’s a cold comfort, especially when she has no way of finding out what he was doing, or who the baby gift was for.As much as I was dying of curiosity, I found myself fearing that when Olivia did finally get some answers, it would be something of an anti-climax. Not at all! In this case, the answer opened up a new world of complexities for Olivia to work through—both emotionally challenging and poignant. And healing.But that’s only half of the story, because Olivia knows that she’s disappointed God, and she can’t help believing God is punishing her for her sin—a belief that is only reinforced by her mother’s self-righteous response to her situation. Her grandmother, Ruthie, on the other hand, exemplifies grace and compassion—to the point where Olivia asks, “Are you sure this is the same God my mother talks about? This isn’t some new and improved God 2.0?”As heartbreaking as this novel was at times, there are rays of light scattered throughout: Olivia’s grandmother, Ruthie; her friend, Mia, with husband, Bryce, and daughter, Lily; and even the reappearance of Evan, her boyfriend before Wyatt came along.Well-written, and full of both heartache and healing, this was an excellent read.I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review.
    more
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    After reading the description of this book I thought, how could I not grab this one? Not only because I was curious about the mystery, but also I knew it would deal with family dynamics. Plus I love a good story. First off, I loved all the NOLA love. It was fun to read of places I know and shoutouts to the Saints. But I promise you this is more than a story of New Orleans. A young woman has such a startling discovery on her wedding day – not only her husband-to-be’s death, but a mystery she does After reading the description of this book I thought, how could I not grab this one? Not only because I was curious about the mystery, but also I knew it would deal with family dynamics. Plus I love a good story. First off, I loved all the NOLA love. It was fun to read of places I know and shoutouts to the Saints. But I promise you this is more than a story of New Orleans. A young woman has such a startling discovery on her wedding day – not only her husband-to-be’s death, but a mystery she doesn’t know if she’ll ever figure out. The journey out of such a dark time, while fighting against her judgemental mom and despair, makes for a captivating and fast read.I really enjoyed what Allan did with this story. Where to story started and where it ended. From the realistic approach (you can’t sugar coat something like this) to the hope weaved throughout the story and characters, this turned out to be a much enjoyed read. I also have to say, I absolutely adored her Grandma. I think she might be my favorite character in the book. For sure top two.What have you been reading recently?(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)Originally posted at http://booksandbeverages.org/2016/11/...
    more
  • Christi
    January 1, 1970
    This is not a typical genre that I would read. I generally avoid anything that is likely to make me cry. And yet, I found Christa's book gut-wrenching in it's honesty. There was not a moment of doubt that this story line could have been a true story. It did not feel rushed and had equal moments of despair and healing. Olivia walks through some of the darkest moments a woman can face, one on top of the other. This story, although fictional, is evidence that our faith can continue to be small and This is not a typical genre that I would read. I generally avoid anything that is likely to make me cry. And yet, I found Christa's book gut-wrenching in it's honesty. There was not a moment of doubt that this story line could have been a true story. It did not feel rushed and had equal moments of despair and healing. Olivia walks through some of the darkest moments a woman can face, one on top of the other. This story, although fictional, is evidence that our faith can continue to be small and yet still present. I found it interesting that those closest to Olivia were the ones most likely to overly protect her. It took strangers and former friends to help her emerge out of her sorrow. And yet, each person was necessary for Olivia to be able to heal I think that Ruthie was probably my favorite character and I love the quiet tenacity of Evan. There are moments of one character being very religiously judgemental, but, in response to other reviews, I did not feel like religion and faith were a blatant part of this book. I honestly was expecting it to play a more obvious part, so I was surprised by one reviewers frustration that there was too much. In all Olivia's journey is one of sorrow and healing and definitely worth your time to read.
    more
  • Maureen Timerman
    January 1, 1970
    When you read about this book it is almost a gasp, what, bride left at the altar, groom dead, accident heading away from the wedding.Poor Olivia, how could so much happen to one person, and then there is more, and parents with good intentions, hiding things from her. How do you go on, living in the home that you choose together, and yet know he was heading in the wrong direction on your wedding day? You can cry a few tears reading this one, and I found some sweet chuckles when we are with Mia an When you read about this book it is almost a gasp, what, bride left at the altar, groom dead, accident heading away from the wedding.Poor Olivia, how could so much happen to one person, and then there is more, and parents with good intentions, hiding things from her. How do you go on, living in the home that you choose together, and yet know he was heading in the wrong direction on your wedding day? You can cry a few tears reading this one, and I found some sweet chuckles when we are with Mia and her little one.How does one get over such tragedy, only one way and that is through God, and yet I was never sure where Livvy’s faith is, and yet I could see his hand on her. What surprised me is the character Laura, and really I am not sure of her thinking, and yet it worked into the story.The book quickly became a page-turner, and wanting to know why and where and who, and wanting to give Scarlet and shake, Livvy’s mom, and then we find reasons.I enjoyed this book, and it kept my attention, but that being said it is a very emotional and at times painful read.I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Waterfall, and was not required to give a positive review.
    more
  • Terri Wangard
    January 1, 1970
    Olivia waits at church for their wedding to begin when Wyatt dies in an accident, headed in the wrong direction. A baby gift is found in his back seat. What secrets has he been keeping from her? Olivia believes God isn’t interested in her. If He is, it’s only to punish her. Now she’s pregnant and unmarried.Her mother is furious with her sinful behavior and doesn’t want Olivia to live with them. It will appear to her church friends that she condones Olivia’s waywardness.Olivia goes to Houston to Olivia waits at church for their wedding to begin when Wyatt dies in an accident, headed in the wrong direction. A baby gift is found in his back seat. What secrets has he been keeping from her? Olivia believes God isn’t interested in her. If He is, it’s only to punish her. Now she’s pregnant and unmarried.Her mother is furious with her sinful behavior and doesn’t want Olivia to live with them. It will appear to her church friends that she condones Olivia’s waywardness.Olivia goes to Houston to stay with a friend until her mother has an accident and her dad asks her to return and help in the office. An old boyfriend reappears. He’s changed. Could he really be interested in her, expecting another man’s child?Life can get complicated. Some of it is because of our own actions, some by the actions of others, and some just happens. Olivia does her best to keep her head out of water. This story held my interest from start to finish. I received a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
    more
  • Norma Guillot
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to this book on Audible during my commute.This was not a book I would have chosen to read if it had not been written by someone whom I trusted to tell me a good story no matter the subject. Now, I want to read more by Mrs. Allan because I loved Since You've Been Gone and it was so refreshing to go outside my preferred genre and love a book.The characters were believable and easy to connect with, the storytelling was fluid, and the settings were easy to visualize. I did not, however, c I listened to this book on Audible during my commute.This was not a book I would have chosen to read if it had not been written by someone whom I trusted to tell me a good story no matter the subject. Now, I want to read more by Mrs. Allan because I loved Since You've Been Gone and it was so refreshing to go outside my preferred genre and love a book.The characters were believable and easy to connect with, the storytelling was fluid, and the settings were easy to visualize. I did not, however, care for the narrator's accent. I realize she is from New Orleans just as I am, but she didn't sound like anyone I ever talk to. I also didn't think she understood where inflection belonged and I thought there were times in the story where she sounded like she was about to have a nap while the situation called for a more intense tone. Overall, though, I thought she did a nice job and would listen to another book narrated by her.
    more
  • Nari
    January 1, 1970
    This book goes slowly at first as it sets up the setting of this story. I feel like this helps the reader really feel the loss that Olivia is feeling. Olivia is reeling from the loss of her fiancé dieing in a car accident on their wedding day. Later she discovers that he was driving in the opposite direction with a baby gift in his back seat. His tux was also in the back seat and he had told his friends that he would be there. So what was he doing? This question haunts Olivia. Was everything the This book goes slowly at first as it sets up the setting of this story. I feel like this helps the reader really feel the loss that Olivia is feeling. Olivia is reeling from the loss of her fiancé dieing in a car accident on their wedding day. Later she discovers that he was driving in the opposite direction with a baby gift in his back seat. His tux was also in the back seat and he had told his friends that he would be there. So what was he doing? This question haunts Olivia. Was everything they had together an illusion? Olivia is not sure she wants to know. This book explores the concept of whether one is helping or harming another when one hides the truth in the name of sheltering someone from pain. Olivia goes through a very trying time and the reader goes through it with her. I liked Olivia's growth throughout the story. I enjoy a story where a person is faced with trials but instead of letting those trials ruin him/her he/she grows and learns from the experience.
    more
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I recieved a copy of this book from netgalley in return for an honest review.From the cover of this book to the description on the back I knew I needed to read this book. It had a grip on me from the very beginning. I loved the characters(for the most part). I couldn't stand the mother but that just means the author did a good job portraying her. The only reason I gave this book a 4 instead of a 5 is because I needed answers to my questions. where was Wyatt going? who was the baby? I felt like t I recieved a copy of this book from netgalley in return for an honest review.From the cover of this book to the description on the back I knew I needed to read this book. It had a grip on me from the very beginning. I loved the characters(for the most part). I couldn't stand the mother but that just means the author did a good job portraying her. The only reason I gave this book a 4 instead of a 5 is because I needed answers to my questions. where was Wyatt going? who was the baby? I felt like the story got swept up in other areas before getting to the reasons I wanted to read the book in the first place. All in all i enjoyed reading this book and I would definitely read another book by this author.
    more
  • Tracey
    January 1, 1970
    A story of tragedy, faith, and trying to overcome.After tragedy strikes on Olivia's wedding day she is left reeling, with the mystery of where her fiancée was going at the time of his accident. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. The plot was incredible with the different twists and turns throughout the novel that keep you turning the pages. You will cry, love, and hurt for Olivia as she tries to to uncover the mystery surrounding where her fiancée was A story of tragedy, faith, and trying to overcome.After tragedy strikes on Olivia's wedding day she is left reeling, with the mystery of where her fiancée was going at the time of his accident. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. The plot was incredible with the different twists and turns throughout the novel that keep you turning the pages. You will cry, love, and hurt for Olivia as she tries to to uncover the mystery surrounding where her fiancée was going at the time of his accident, deals with her judgemental mother and tries to overcome two tragedies in a short period of time.I highly recommend this book! Give it a chance and you won't regret it! ARC provided from Netgalley for honest review.
    more
Write a review