Multnomah, Apr 2002, 11.99, 350 pp.
In 1998 the drunk driver killed her husband Thomas and their little girl Alicia leaving Hannah Ryan to grieve not only her losses, but also wonders how she will go on without them though her youngest child desperately needs her. Eventually Hannah meets and falls in love with the kindly Matt Bronzan. They marry and after a while Hannah agrees to adopt a little girl. Though she fears the loss of any loved one, as Hannah explains to Alicia at the cemetery, she will have three daughters, two here and one in heaven, but what will happen to her if she loses another child?
The Bronzan's friends and business partners Tanner and Jade Eastman are excited, as she is pregnant with their first child. However, the rest of the story from the doctor leaves the couple stunned and frightened and wondering about their future.
HALFWAY TO HEAVEN is a deep look at families and people in crisis due to bad things happening to good people. Both story lines are well written and each could have served as its own novel (and probably should have). The richness and complexity of the characters make each tale work because the audience will believe in what these individuals confront. Readers observe Hannah struggle with her faith even as she tries to move on with her life while the Eastmans have their own crippling difficulty that makes them question a God that can allow malevolent things to occur. Fans of powerful insightful human dramas will enjoy HALFWAY TO FOREVER and pray for more inspiring tales from Karen Kingsbury who makes believers out of all of us.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner