Review: The Winter Reunion
THE WINTER REUNION - Rhonda McKnight
Grace Publishing
BUY
December 2016
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
REVIEWER: Janet Caldwell| RATING:  A
REVIEW: Tamar Johnson is going to her high school reunion. This is epic because she hasn’t returned to her hometown of Pine, Pennsylvania, since graduation twelve years ago.  Her employer, an Atlanta magazine, is sending her to interview her high school sweetheart, now a high-profile professional athlete and the person she accuses of posting an explicit video on YouTube of them having sex.

Rhonda McKnight delivers a thought-provoking Christian romance about a very complicated dilemma that would try even the best Christian’s faith.  This novella tackles a contemporary topic and applies faith-based coping principles to erase years of anger and bitterness.
 
Stephen Pierce is a popular professional football player with million dollar endorsements. He is nominated for an award for honoring the Lord with his witness for Christ on and off the field. Stephen feels before he can accept this prestigious award, he needs to be honest with his fans and himself. For years he has denied that he is the male in the video. So, he goes about mending his relationship with Tamar and her family. His method of locating her and getting her to the reunion is a bit unorthodox and uses the very medium that caused her to leave, but for his sake it is effective.

Tamar and Stephen were teens when they last saw each other.  Life has changed considerably for both and not always for the best.  Stephen has benefitted from a successful football career and has managed to avoid the backlash from the notorious video. He is well respected for his charity work and living by faith. Tamar hasn’t fared as well by her own choice.  She is bitter and lives in obscurity hundreds of miles away. Her hardened heart refuses to allow the word of God to mend her tortured soul.

Other characters impacting this story include Tamar’s father; her best friend, Kim; and her boss, Eva. The primary setting for this novella is Pine, Pennsylvania and it is the Christmas season, although that fact isn’t prominent.

THE WINTER REUNION is the first story I have read by McKnight. It is well written, engaging and very captivating. I could almost feel Tamar’s emotions when she returns to Pine and casts her eyes on Stephen for the first time in twelve years. You cheer for her as she musters the strength to face the accusatory stares of the townspeople who once mocked her. This is a great inspirational story about forgiveness and restoration appropriate for reading in the New Year which, appropriately, is a time for fresh starts and moving past bitterness and practicing forgiveness.

3rd January 2017 | romcol@caribsurf.com