As Kellie Coates Gilbert has shared in the past, she uses her experience as a legal investigator and trial paralegal to make her contemporary novels compelling and realistic. They read like they were "ripped from the headlines." A REASON TO STAY is a masterful example of that ability. Faith Marin has worked tirelessly to become the host of her own morning talk show. Now that she has the show, she wants to make a difference. All the while she is fighting to keep tight reins on her personal life. A quick romance with handsome Geary Marin, a professional bass fisherman, led to a quick marriage. On the surface they seem deeply in love, but within months of their marriage, it appears there are cracks in their relationship. And in Faith's eyes, Geary's perfect large family is mainly to blame. And she has begun to believe that there will be no happily ever after for herself and Geary.
Then Faith and her crew are sent on assignment to the Space Center for an important announcement by Senator Rohny and an attacker's bullets change everything. Revelations of Faith and Geary's marriage and troubles alternate with chapters of the mass shooting's aftermath. All Faith's priorities and goals change within an instant. As she slips in and out of consciousness over the weeks after the shooting, one person alone stands by her side.
There's lots going on in this book. Faith at times seems self-absorbed, slightly naive, yet she is headstrong and determined. Her story of recovery will make you think beyond the headlines of the too many tragedies our country has seen. But a good author does more than just copy the headlines, and Coates-Gilbert does plenty more. There is a hidden story of Faith's own family and her self-imposed boundaries to never fully open her heart. This is a solid read that I recommend to those who like contemporary Christian fiction. Thank you Revell Reads for the opportunity to review this book.