Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn

Never Saw You Coming

by Erin Hahn

Meg has been raised under strict Christian guidelines, so strict that most would automatically roll their eyes at the hearing of them. She’s never strayed, is horrified at the slightest sinful thought, never kissed, never even held hands.

When she applies to be a counselor at a bible-oriented ranch camp in California, what she learns thanks to the information they require, including her birth certificate, shatters her 18 years of reality completely. Her feeling of betrayal, coupled with the immediate fallout between her parents, sends her north to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to meet her great grandmother, a woman she never knew existed.

It’s a multi-faceted journey, part geographic, part emotional, part self-discovery. She bonds with Betty, her purple-haired great-gram immediately, but more importantly, she meets Micah, who has his own issues with religion and the church.

His father, a local pastor, betrayed the community and his family when Micah was thirteen, leaving huge emotional scars. His parole hearing is coming up and has brought lots of pain and anger to Micah’s surface.

The more Meg and Micah get to know each other, the closer they become and that intimacy allows them to sort out their conflicted feelings about God and religion. The author does a stellar job of pulling readers through this process as though they were an invisible friend in the same room.

There are several other important people in the story, Meg’s uncle, Micah’s best friend, the woman who hires Meg to work in her bakery, and the man who Meg grew up believing was her dad. This is a book that addresses the conflicts so many young adults face when they have been raised with overly strict and onerous religious values. It does it in a sympathetic and even-handed way.

You come away understanding there’s plenty of room to love God without being tied to heavy chains of guilt for being a normal teen. Please read the author’s note at the back. I’m so glad she persevered and didn’t let this book languish in a drawer.

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