The Winding Road Home by Sally John

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

About the book:
Author: Sally John
Publisher: Harvest House
Publication Date: 2008 (re-release), 2003 (first printing)
Find the Review Elsewhere: Goodreads
Series: The Other Way Home - Book 4
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Kate Kilpatrick has plans. She is going to complete her stint at the small town Valley Oaks Times and then head off for bigger and better prospects at a larger outlet. Her plans are complicated by fellow Riverton classmate Tanner Carlucci who is now a substitute history teacher at Valley Oaks and skilled pilot. Kate’s drive intimidates Tanner somewhat: he is twelve years out of high school and still without a career… and when he begins to entertain ideas of Kate in his life for good, things get even more confusing – for the both of them.

Kate’s land lady Adele Chandler is a single mom who focused all her attentions on being a good mother. Now, she has been in a semi-serious relationship with a “safe” bet – serious-minded businessman, Will for six months. Then she meets Graham quite by chance. He stirs her heart like Will has never but that means her life will be upset, something she isn’t sure she is willing to allow for – nor is it something she ever expected after years of creating a stable environment to raise her daughter in. 

Review: OK, so, anything so-so, ho-hum I may have said about this series is wiped clean; I absolutely loved this, the fourth and final novel in the “Other Way Home” series. It is humorous, touching, romantic and, although more subtle, there is a beautiful message of faith as seen through Kate winning Tanner to the Lord. Despite him being a non-Christian, I enjoyed Tanner’s character a lot. He already lived by many upstanding principles after a near-death experience: he lived life to its fullest – he was a risk-taker, he just needed someone to show him God’s love – and he made an ideal leading man. Sally developed a wonderful relationship between him and Kate. I loved how it was based off of an easy-going friendship but blossomed into something even sweeter. Their friendship was built off compatible personalities – an enjoyment of each other’s company as opposed to a physical attraction. It is in their scenes together that we feel quite at ease getting to “know” these characters. They laugh and tease, cry and comfort, and everything “feels” so familiar to our own daily lives.

Predictability is at the center of secondary character Adele’s life. She is dealing with raising a teenager on her own, and enjoying a “no strings attached” relationship with a divorced businessman (who is trying to ever-so-subtly change her; we all now that isn’t going to last)… until she meets Graham. Contrasting Kate and Tanner’s relationship, Adele and Graham instantly connect. There is an almost instantaneous unspoken knowledge between them. They are both at a loss as to what to do with the relationship both being such mature, responsible adults and having been hurt in the past, but they also are “careful” in their relationship. I liked how well Sally weaves this story into something the reader doesn’t expect. Call me silly for having missed it, but the bit of mystery that begins to take shape halfway through the book makes the reader really want to finish the novel – even if we finally do “get” where its going.

For me, this novel was the best of the four. When Sally set pen to paper to write this, she created a “homey” novel that is beautiful in its simplicity. It has heart and humor and faith… and an easy, comfortable wittiness in the characters relationships. Very well-written – the series makes me curious to read her latest set of novels.


  1. Wow! This sounds like an awesome book!
    I seriously will have to look into it :)
    Wonderful post Rissi!

  2. It is good, Rebekah! The entire series (which is posted here BTW) is a very down-to-earth set of novels - and that makes it easy to relate to the characters as the reader. Hope you like the book if/when you read it. =)


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