Restless in Carolina is the third book in a series about the Pickwick family from North Carolina. This installment focuses on Bridget Pickwick Buchanan, a woman widowed before she turned 30, who is trying to let go of her "widow's weeds" and move on with her life. She is passionate about the environment, and wants to find a solution for her Uncle Obadiah's estate that is both respectful of the land and will enable the family to settle old debts and give Uncle Obe peace.
Although a bit on the predictable side, the story of Bridget and her family gives the reader lovable characters (and a few not-quite-so-lovable characters) to invest in. Bridget's struggles are real and will be familiar to many. She is afraid to let go of her past and trust God for the future, mainly because she can't get past the question that everybody thinks at some point: if God loves us, how can He let terrible things happen to "good" people? Having lost her husband so early and tragically, she struggles to love again. She finds herself turning to God in unexpected moments, even as she argues with Him that she's not really on speakin' terms.
The book was an enjoyable read for me. I wanted Bridget to be happy. I wanted things to work out for her and for her to find love. I wanted her prayers to be answered, and I wanted her to get her "happily ever after," (A phrase she struggles to even complete as she reads fairy tales to her 5-year-old niece early in the book.) Even with its colorful characters (or, perhaps "because" of its colorful characters), I like the Pickwick family. I like watching the relationships change and develop as they fight their past together and try to get past the "sins of the fathers" to set new courses for the new generations.
There's a quote near the end of the book that struck me when I read it and gives more depth to the book than just a cute story. In considering their motives for their previous actions, a character asks:
"Do you know how hard it is to be right with God when you aren't right with people? When you can't forgive as you should? When you're holding the past tighter than it's holding you? When you think you're better at being God than God Himself?" Those questions would be good for us all to consider.
You can read an excerpt of the book HERE.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.