Clouds signify many different things to different people. Some folks may consider them a nuisance to a day of catching some sunshine on a sandy beach. Others may view them as beautiful mountains of hope. Still others might look up at an overcast sky and see a comforting blanket that reminds them of marshmallows bobbing up and down in their mom's homemade hot cocoa.
In Clouds, flight attendant Shelly Graham thinks "no human could mar their perfection." (page 50) They offer her a subtle reminder of God's perfect love as her life crumbles into an enormous pile of tattered dreams. Her dream job is threatened by airline cutbacks. Her little sister gets to live in Shelly's dream cabin. When she bumps into her childhood best friend and true love, reality splashes ice cold water on her dream future: Jonathan's engaged to be married! Just as the clouds in the sky adapt to God's weather plans, can Shelly adapt to the crushing news pouring all around her? Will a journey into her family's history spark an inner expedition to a Love stronger and steadier than the one she lost?
Clouds by Robin Jones Gunn (www.RobinGunn.com) offers an innocence that is so often lost in today's modern world. Even though this fifth installment in The Glenbrooke Series is a contemporary tale, it still manages to take us back to a slower paced, more meaningful time when families were close-knit and pleasantly, if somewhat irritatingly, meddlesome and everyone hopes for a happily-ever-after. This is by far the sweetest, most heartfelt story I've read all year, and I look forward to reading more of The Glenbrooke Series by Robin Jones Gunn. This novel provides a fresh perspective on God's way of working things out according to His divine plan.
Robin beautifully combined location and history and character to weave a truly touching masterpiece. I was quickly endeared to Shelly and her treasure box of long-forgotten memories. My emotions were on the line nearly as much as Shelly's as I experienced the highs and lows of adventure and lost love right along with her.
Here are two quotes from Clouds that struck my heart as particularly meaningful:
"Sometimes to find the key that will unlock the future, we have to see what keys we buried in the past." (page 37)
"What has been is in the past. What is forms the present. What will be remains to be seen." (page 134)
What keys from your past will clear the clouds from your future?
Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah for giving me a free copy of this novel for this review.