When fifteen-year-old Isabella decides to trace her family history, particularly the life of her great-grandmother Elizabeth Ann Mayer Aubin—better known as Lizbeth—she begins her search for information at the church in the village of Shimmering Falls, on the shore of Owasco Lake in Upstate New York, that her family has traditionally attended. Fortunately for Isabella, Father Ian returned to the parish some three years previously, bringing with him knowledge about her great-grandmother that she could never have contemplated.
As Father Ian begins to tell Isabella the astonishing story of her family, an enduring love story featuring monumental highs and devastating lows, Evermore transports readers back to the 1930s and the chance encounter between two good-hearted and perhaps rather naïve teenagers: seventeen-year-old Ian Sharples and fifteen-year-old Lizbeth Mayer. The two meet in church during a long sultry summer and quickly become enamored of each other.
Unfortunately, while Ian and Lizbeth plan and dream of a future together, fate is conspiring to keep them apart. Ian’s mother has plans of her own for his future, plans that involve keeping him away from Lizbeth or any other pretty girl. When she recognizes the strength of the pair’s love, Ian’s mother sets in motion a scheme that will drive the two of them apart and also have far-reaching consequences for people beyond Ian and Lizbeth. What follows is a moving story of intergenerational trauma and the power of love.
Margaret Krivchenia’s Evermore is both a Christian romance and a family saga spanning much of the 20th century. It is the story of love, both romantic and familial, and of the bonds that develop between people. It is also the story of fear and of madness, the power of which can be difficult for bystanders to overcome. As the different generations of characters featured in the story attempt to come to terms with themselves and with those around them, they all turn to God for guidance, which has wide-ranging impacts on their lives.
Although the initial romance between Ian and Lizbeth develops surprisingly quickly, Krivchenia does go on to convincingly portray it as an enduring love that morphs in nature and quality over time. Despite their youthful innocence and overall good-natured personalities, the two do have some flaws, particularly Ian in his youth and Lizbeth in her middle age. Still, even when they act in perplexing or troubling ways, they remain relatable characters.
The supporting characters are generally less well developed that Ian and Lizbeth, but with one notable exception, they are shown to be wholesome and goodly people who are largely without fault. In particular, Joseph, Leta, and Meg stand out as laudable characters about whom it would have been good to know more. While they are clearly all meant to be earnest people, the dialogue among them could have been enhanced somewhat by being rendered more natural and so making their issues more compelling.
Evermore is an engaging love story with a mystery at its heart that is just as strong as the emotional aspects of the story. Krivchenia drops hints as to the substance of Ian’s mother’s scheme throughout much of the book, which keeps things interesting and adds pace to the story amidst all the romance-related dialogue. It is a book that will particularly appeal to Christian readers and to fans of sweeping romances.
|Page Count||346 pages|
|Publisher||Christian Faith Publishing, Inc.|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|