"There are some things you can't go back from. You just lay the broken pieces down and then there's grace and it's glue, and in a strange way, you're more whole than before, because this time ... This time it's not by your own doing". ('To Get to You')
'To Get to You' is a story of love on 3 different levels: a teen boy's first love, a parent's love for his child, God's love and grace for mankind. A tender story told from the point of view of a troubled 18-year-old boy, a product of a broken home, who has shut the world out and pain in.
It's Christmas eve - Riley Kane is closing shop at Harmony Farms feed store and Christmas tree lot, in the small mountain town of Idyllwild, southern California. A teenage girl appears, pulling a sled - attempts to load a large left-over Christmas tree Riley has discarded alongside the highway, her feet slipping in the snowy slush from the weight of the tree. Feeling compelled to help, yet his jeep in the shop for radiator repair and the girl on foot - Riley walks 2 miles to her Airstream trailer home, pulling the sled. Along the way, he realizes her to be a church friend, from childhood - Rebecca "Becca" Fletcher.
When Becca's father, a semi-truck driver, is seriously injured driving off the road to avoid hitting a children-filled van, the driver having swerved to avoid a deer - his family drives to a hospital in New Mexico to be with him, taking the trailer with them. Riley is shocked to find an empty lot when he arrives at Becca's - his name written on a grocery bag hanging from a branch of the discarded Christmas tree, a note inside explaining the family's plight. His phone not charged - Becca had tried, unsuccessfully, to call him.
Riley is determined to get to Becca, to help the family by bringing their stored generator and water barrels. When his jeep transmission goes out, stranding him - his mother, who is out-of-town, insists Riley solicit his father's help. Jake Kane, a world-famous professional surfer - hasn't seen his son since Riley was in the 3rd grade, nor spoken to him since he was 11 years old. A man Riley hates, one he feels ruined his life.
What follows is a road trip in a rare '65 VW Samba van for Riley, Jake, and Jake's surfer buddy Saul Ramirez. A trip full of adventure, and emotion-filled discoveries about, and for, both father and son. So vivid are the descriptions and life-like the characters, I felt I was along for the ride, and privy to their thoughts. 'To Get to You' is filled with the emotion and beauty I've come to expect from Joanne's writing - a tender, heart-warming story that alternately made me smile and shed tears. My heart ached for Riley, sympathized with Becca, and loved her vulnerable, innocent heart.
Both books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million.
GIVEAWAY: OWG is grateful for Joanne's gracious provision of a paperback copy of 'To Get to You' - a giveaway to one blessed commenter! Please leave your email address using (at) and (dot) to protect yourself from spammers.