In Keys to Her Future, Judith Doeden achieved what she set out to accomplish in her simple storytelling—a story that will touch your core.
Death is more forgiving than grief—the all-consuming grief that knows no solace or consolation. The same kind of grief Rebecca McCormick succumbs to every day since losing her husband and her two kids in a car wreck weeks before Christmas. Had Rebecca gone to town with them to pick up movies that Friday night, she would probably be dead too—end of story. But no, Rebecca is alive but barely, dying a slow and agonizing death.
Her life now—or the lack of it—is a far cry from the happy one she shared with Mike and the kids, Carrie and Andy. The loving family of four never asked for anything more than the love and happiness they had at the farm. They were picture-perfect. Rebecca used to snuggle the kids awake, and their laughter rang throughout the farm. Mike was the love of her life, the one who propped her up, the one she couldn’t do without. Yet here she is, without Mike and the kids. And the worst thing about her predicament now? There is no escape. From the moment Rebecca opens her eyes to cracks of sunlight filling her now-quiet homestead until late at night she spends on a cold bed, the pain she feels clings to her very skin. She can’t shake it off any more than she can dream her family alive again. On a whim, Rebecca accepts a Christmas invitation from Mike’s aunt Edna in Little Lake, Minnesota, hoping the journey will give her reprieve, even a temporary one in time for Christmas.
What she finds in Minnesota is yet another twist of fate. Eric Northern, mistaking Rebecca to be the “computer bride” he is expecting for his friend Alex Robertson, introduces Rebecca to his curious and unwelcoming circle of friends and to Alex himself, a widower dedicated to his two young daughters, Emily and Annie. The new characters in Rebecca’s life find her “cheap and desperate,” and Alex wants her intrusion done and over with. What he cannot dismiss, though is the raw attraction he feels toward Rebecca. He finds himself inexplicably drawn to her, especially to the pain in her eyes—a pain he knows only too well, a pain that will not allow second chances at love or life without guilt or shame.
Perhaps there is no mistake in their meeting. Maybe life is making it up to both of them, giving them what they both need—a chance to live again, redemption, hope. If only they allow themselves to heal and recover in spite of themselves and their painful not-too-distant past.
Despite the initial struggles author Judith Doeden encountered getting her novel published, Keys to Her Future turned out to be a hard-to-put-down novel. It is the perfect company on cold winter nights.
Doeden talks about grief and hopelessness without much embellishment or fanfare, and she casts hope without impossible expectations. The result is a relatable woman caught in a familiar story—everybody knows a grief-stricken Rebecca.
“I don’t know who God meant this story for, but I hope it is you and you find encouragement, peace, or hope somewhere in the pages.”
Keys to Her Future by Judith Doeden
Reviewed by Amy Alcott
Disclosure: This article is a personal endorsement of the professional reviewer. The BookWalker is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Reviews and What Readers Say
“I liked this book. I took it on my vacation to read in the evenings. It is the type of book that you sit down with a hot cup of coffee and snuggle into a couch and spent quality time. I would recommend for a good read to anyone who is looking for this kind of book.”
―Granny S., Amazon Client, Verified Purchase
“ Very warm and inviting book to read. Can be read in a short period of time. Holds your interest through each chapter and also sends a spiritual message of hope that God will guide us through the toughest times. Enjoyed it very much.”
―Turbocat, Amazon Client, Verified Purchase
“A touching story of a woman who overcomes the ultimate tragedy. This book is soulfully written with wonderful character development. Judith Doeden draws the reader in with a story that is captivating and incredibly touching.”
―Carrie Griffith, Amazon Client, Verified Purchase
“This is a gentle read and would make a great movie. It is clever and well written.”
― Lou Graham, Amazon Client, Verified Purchase
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Judy Doeden lives in Hoopeston, Illinois, with her husband and a small dog, Nikki. She has a son and a daughter who both married beautiful people. Judy has four grandsons who enrich her life. When she wants to relax, she camps with her family, sews, reads, and scrapbooks. As this is Judy's first book, she hopes you find hope and humor while reading this story.