When Dawn Breaks by Jennifer Slattery
Jennifer Slattery’s second novel is a moving, powerful story. We meet 51-year-old Jacqueline Dunn when her flight to escape a hurricane takes her directly into the path of 3 needy children who eventually change her life. She also encounters a lonely railroader who is facing a crisis in his new job. Jennifer weaves these stories together seamlessly. I found myself laughing out loud one minute and one chapter later feeling heartbreak. I was drawn into the lives of these characters and found myself caring about each one. Seeing life through the eyes of 14-year-old Gavin broke my heart and made me wonder how many children face the same things in real life. This book is very well-written. It includes a romance but the greater love story in the book might surprise you. Jennifer writes about faith in such a real way showing how her characters struggle with past sins and face challenges to their faith yet find strength in prayer and scripture. There are no super Christians but real people with real faith. If you want to be drawn into a moving story, find yourself rooting for characters you feel you know, enjoy a romance, and possibly be inspired to take action, then you need to read this book. The book is written with humor, realism and from a place of true emotion. There are storylines that include finding romance after fifty, the foster care system, abandoned children, disaster relief, unethical work practices, broken relationship between parent and child, and being willing to step out of one’s comfort zone in order to serve God. Will Jacqueline’s daughter ever trust her again? Will Gavin and his sisters ever have a real home? Will Jonathan lose his job? Will he love again? I highly recommend this novel.