Absolution by Missy Johnson
Published by Self-published on June 28, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Declan James was the perfect guy.
He was sweet. Charming. Caring. Until he wasn’t.
Fourteen years ago, his actions tore apart my family. He ruined my sister’s life and nothing was ever the same again.
But now, more than a decade later, he’s back.
When he walks into my office, asking for my help, I’m shocked, but nothing prepares me for what I’m about to learn. I see how far he’s gone to redeem himself and I know that he’s changed. I also know that, as a priest, he’s more off limits than ever.
If I help him, my family will never forgive me.
If I fall in love with him, I will never forgive myself
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Absolution depicts the fallout from a crime that snowballed, claiming victim after victim as the magnitude of the death of Cecily takes its toll on her family and friends. Her younger sister, Hannah absorbs a lot of the fallout and carries the worries of her family as she’s desperately trying to care for them. It’s no surprise she finds herself working as a social worker, trying to make a difference in a world where childhood can be ripped away from a young person. This is a story of betrayal, secrecy, loss and of picking up the pieces to assemble some sort of normality once more in spite of the pain experienced.
When Hannah comes across a young mother and her daughter, she becomes obsessed with ensuring their wellbeing. The story delves into the battle social workers face, with the demand outweighing the number of staff available to assist people in need. It highlighted the pressures that can take an overworked person close to their breaking point. Thankfully, Hannah had Max, a wonderful caring colleague who looked out for her and opened her eyes to reason. Everyone needs a Max in their workplace, no matter where you work!
While I’m far from an expert in the field of social work, a lot of the scenarios described had me questioning how on earth they could be condoned. There were situations where Hannah acknowledges she is not only walking a fine line, but crossing it in order to prevent a child suffering more than she should, but it felt a bit off. They say real life is stranger than fiction – so I let my concerns slide.
Tempting the clergy isn’t my trope either but this story was more about getting on with life after making a terrible mistake. Unfortunately for Declan, he can’t escape his past no matter how much effort he puts into absolving himself. He was a great character but again his thought process influenced my acceptance of his calling.
Regardless of the two details of the story I struggled with, I was glued to every page. In the beginning, the background story consumes the chapters and it wasn’t until just over 25% that the story I was hoping to read emerged. It was from then on my only focus was on reading and nothing was getting between me and this book LOL.
I was prepared to grant Hannah and Declan absolution myself so they could be together, believing in their obsession to be better people and make a difference to the people they encountered. My connection to the delivery of the story was never in question and I will be looking out for other Missy Johnson books to read in the future.
3.5 Absolved Stars
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About Missy Johnson
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Missy lives in a small town in Victoria, Australia with her husband and her confused pets (a dog who thinks that she is a cat, a cat who thinks he is a dog…you get the picture).
When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.
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