There is Always a Dawn – and a Silver Lining.

Deb’s Dozen: Three needy children, one widower, one woman with estranged daughter, plus God!

Jacqueline Dunn, flooded out of her home by a hurricane, moves to Willow Springs to be near her estranged daughter, Delana. Jacqueline had neglected Delana when she was growing up and now Delana barely wants anything to do with her mother.

Jonathan Cohen, widower, has moved to Willow Springs for a new railroad job and to be near his sister, Beanie, and her husband, Walter. But all is not well at his new job.

Gavin, Adele, and baby Jaya—and a mother who’d rather chase men than care for her children—are in a local church shelter opened to help those flooded out by the hurricane.

Will Jacqueline stay and keep trying to win Delana’s trust? Will Jonathan survive at his new job or be fired just short of retirement? What are the children to do when their mom takes off and they’re separated? Will they ever be together again?

Jennifer Slattery adeptly melds these stores together at the same time as she educateds us about the paucity of help for those in need after a disaster. She also shows us the disaster that is many a child services system. I didn’t like reading the descriptions of foster homes and homes for boys. I didn’t like reading about the plight of those who’ve lost everything. But she made me aware of the great need—and I can pray for solutions and those people caught in such a situation.

I did, however, like the characters—and I prayed they’d all have “happily ever afters.” I was hooked by Slattery’s character development and by my need to continue to read until she resolved their situations.

You will laugh, cry, and become involved with all of these people—and you will see how their dependence on God helps them in their struggles. I can’t call this a good read, because the conditions made me very uncomfortable, but When Dawn Breaks is a compelling one—and reminded me there is always a dawn! Four stars.

New Hope Publishers gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my candid review.

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