About Abby’s Journey
Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (February 14, 2017)
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.
Review: I read Saving Abby last year. Check out my review here. Flash forward 20 years and we are now seeing how Abby is doing. The story of how Abby came to be born was depressing to say the least, so I was expecting something similar here. The book is most definitely emotionally charged.
She has a chronic lung condition, that has kept her home bound most of her young life. She gets an all clear from her doctor that she can start to live a more normal life. For her that mean traveling to Germany with her grandmother on a trip that her mother had wanted to take years ago.
Abby's dream is see the Christmas Market's in Germany and Austria, and who wouldn't want to. Well, her father, who is terrified for her health, for one. I felt terribly sorry for Josh, because his life is so different from the one he had with Claire and it made me terribly sad for him.
The trip also gives her a chance to see the places her mother wanted to see and get to know things about her mother as well. The excitement Abby feels is so real, that the reader becomes excited right along with her. (I wanted to make the trip with her)
In London, however, she reads a letter her mother wrote before she was conceived that leaves her confused. If you haven't read Saving Abby, some of this story will feel foreign to you, especially about.
The letters from Claire to her loved ones and Abby's journal really make this book feel personal.
Abby is a much more endearing character then her mother was. Her rebellion at wanting the trip so badly and even her desire to live on her own were understandable.
I also loved her friendship with Sam, who is a character that was first introduced in Saving Abby.
I loved the young tour guide that had a crush on Abby. I wish there could have been a touch of romance there, because it could have provided some levity in this book. For all the happiness of the trip for Abby, there's always the undercurrent her poor health leaves on everyone, and you know that it will rear its ugly head.
That was once again my only gripe with the story. If Abby's lungs were bad and she'd need hospitalized I had a hard time wrapping my head around putting a sick girl on a plane. Heck with as sick as she was one of the days, she went to the Salzburg Market one evening.
I also liked that things were resolved with the letter and that part of Claire's past that is starting to affect the present.
This book was totally engrossing and a quick read. I hope there's more to this family's story to tell.
Rating: 5 flowers