Book Review: ‘When I Come Home Again’ (A Big Prairie Romance) by Jennifer Rodewald

When a family crisis calls him back to Big Prairie, will Craig Erikson be able to work through past mistakes and a tragedy that had sent him searching for a new place to call home?

Brenna Blaum had been sure of three things in her life—her brother, her running, and her dad’s star receiver. But in a matter of a year’s time, everything she’d counted on fell apart, leaving her devastated. Seven years later, she’s stable again. She has a supportive boyfriend, fulfilling career, and close friends. She keeps her past heartache where it belongs—in her rearview mirror. Until the man who broke her heart finds his way back to Big Prairie.

Craig Erikson had it all—popularity, success, and the love of his high school coach’s daughter. But after a year of mistakes that ended in a tragic accident, he’d left Big Prairie—the place he’d thought to always call home—hoping that without his antagonizing presence, Brenna would be able to heal. Now his mother desperately needs him, as do two young boys in her care. Craig has little choice but to return for good.

Unsure that she can forgive him, Brenna does her best to avoid him. Irritated that she ignores him as if they’d never meant anything to each other, Craig becomes determined not to allow it.

Life in a small town forces their interaction, making them confront their unresolved issues and igniting emotions that have smoldered for seven years. As Craig and Brenna are pushed together, can they endure the hard places still littering their lives? If so, is it possible to find their way back to love and home again?

Small town Christian stories of romance and redemption, begin the Big Prairie Romance series today!
About Jennifer Rodewald
Jennifer Rodewald/J. Rodes lives on the wide plains somewhere near the middle of Nowhere. A coffee addict, pickleball enthusiast, and storyteller, she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see others fall in love with Him too.

My Rating: 5 Stars!

‘Sometimes things don’t get better until you deal with the ugly parts. Clean up the mess.’

Craig Erikson returns to Big Prairie to help take care of his mother after a bad diagnosis, and help her take care of the two foster brothers in her care. He had it all when he lived in Big Prairie, big football star, dating the coach’s daughter. But big mistakes happened and he left after a horrible accident. He’d hoped to always live in this small town, but never managed to settle anywhere else. Now, he’s home for good.

Brenna Blaum loved her brother, her dad and Craig. In the space of one year, everything fell apart and since then, Brenna’s life has been one of just making believe everything is okay. She even has a wonderful boyfriend. Then Craig Erikson shows up in town and all the hurt, anger and pain flares up in her heart and takes an even deeper root than is has before. Will she ever have peace?

‘Brenna knew, all too well, what pain and disillusion could do to even the stoutest of hearts.’

Jennifer Rodewald has penned a novel that digs way down deep into the heart and refuses to let go. I was all in from the first page and hated to put the book aside for life. There are some hard lessons here in the pages of this story, lessons every person would do well to take note of and apply to their own lives. Brenna’s view of her own self worth caused her to take a much different path than she would have wanted to take, and she took Craig along with her. Their actions brought much pain and destruction to their lives. Can they overcome this gigantic hurdle and find their way back to peace and love? Can they live in the same town together once again?

Rodewald has captured just about every emotion in this book: fear, anger, love, heartbreak, joy, and peace, along with forgiveness and healing. I cried more reading this book than I think I have any other. This one is going on my Top Ten List for 2020. I highly recommend this novel.

*My thanks to the author and publisher for a preview copy of this novel. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.