Short story collections are generally not my go to reads, but there was something about the synopsis of these stories that drew me to open this book. From the anthologies that I have read, I’m used to them tending towards an overarching theme, like in this case, love, but I was so not prepared for how amazingly interconnected each of these stories truly was! Though written independently of one another, these stories perfectly flow together. As each story progresses, the decades pass to showcase new generations, but the thematic cohesiveness and continuity across the pages is absolutely breathtaking! It is incredibly difficult to pick out any one story to hold out as my favorite, as each was so well done and satisfying as a strong standalone, but connecting them across the entire book makes this a stand out collection that is highly recommended!
“[T]he sprawling old oak…had taken on such a life, so much lore and legend to it. It seemed to lay its branches upon the ground like unfolding fingers, inviting one to climb up inside and stay awhile.”
With each story, the beauty of the tree continues to mature and symbolize the motivation for each character’s desires. Life surrounding the tree may change, but its steadfastness guides them towards their heart’s content, which is so remarkable to bear witness to as a reader along for the journey.
There is a little bit of everything for any romance reader to enjoy within these stories. I especially adored the inclusion of the hate to love troupes that were featured. And as a war veteran myself, “From Roots to Sky,” painted such a poignant reflection of sacrifice and service that certainly speaks to what it takes to survive in the darkest of moments. The seasons of life are filled with departures, new beginnings, heartbreak, reunions, and everything in between, and these stories were able to capture those moments so remarkably well and with such stunning grace and tenderness. You’ll easily become invested in the outcomes of the couples as well as the future of the tree itself!
Fans of both historical and contemporary romance will swoon over these sweet and masterfully written tales. I hope there are plans for another set of stories from these authors, but until then, I’ll be checking out their individual novels! Such a delightful collection that will warm the heart and celebrates the power of love!