Twenty-year-old Abigail Turner has only known her mother, Claire—who died shortly after she was born—through letters, videos, postcards, and journals. Abby’s father, Josh, has raised his precious daughter himself, but his overprotectiveness has become stifling. Abby longs to forge out on her own and see the world after a childhood trapped indoors: she suffers from bronchopulmonary dysplasia, which means a case of the sniffles can rapidly escalate into life-threatening pneumonia.
But when Abby’s doctor declares her healthy—for now—her grandmother Millie whisks her away to Europe to visit the Christmas markets that her mother cherished and chronicled in her travel journals. Despite her father’s objections, Abby and Millie embark on a journey of discovery in which Abby will learn secrets that force her to reevaluate her image of her mother and come to a more mature understanding of a parent-child bond that transcends death.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Steena Holmes offers a tender and heartfelt exploration of parental love and a daughter’s longing for connection in the poignant next chapter following Saving Abby.
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This book was a lovely follow-up to Saving Abby, which I finished just before starting this one. My main complaint about both books was the simplicity and lack of creativity in the writing style. The writing itself didn't do much to pull me in and immerse me in the story. As a result it was hard to connect emotionally to the book. However, the characters themselves do a lot to help that. I loved Claire, Josh, Abby, and Derek in the first book and that really allowed me to become more attached to the story of their lives. It was a relatively predictable book, but an enjoyable one as well.
I did enjoy the added travel element in this book. Stories with travel abroad always entice me more than others. I love the chance to see some far off places just by reading. However, in this book I was less invested in the characters than I was in Saving Abby. I didn't love the repetitive back and forth arguing between Abby and her father at the beginning, nor am I a huge fan of Millie (some of her actions in the first book really turned me off). That being said, the story here of a girl connecting to her dead mother by taking the trip she'd always dreamed of was really sweet and beautiful.
I do think it would be alright to read this book without reading the previous one, but I think you'd lose a little bit of character development. For example, the Josh in this book would be harder to like without what I'd seen of him in the previous story. All in all, though I did have some small issues with this book, I did like the story and enjoyed reading something sweet and simple with a bit of travel.