Anna is just not able to allow herself to grieve over her baby daughter’s accidental death. Every day, she runs miles along the beach in Boston and spends hours at work at a prestigious law firm. As long as she stays busy, she can avoid the overwhelming emotions. Until the day that her husband asks for a divorce and her partner requests that she take a leave of absence. Her life in shambles, she packs her bags and leaves town, destination unknown. Somewhere near Charlestown fate steps in. Anna learns some important life lessons from her unexpected adventure.
If you’ve been following my blog recently, you’ll already know that I’m also on a personal quest of sorts, just as unintentional as Anna’s. So of course, I found The Refuge by Heidi Martin quite appropriate for my own situation and as a result, enjoyed it immensely.
I loved that Anna was fallible. In situation after situation, I kept wondering if she was going to mess her life up yet again. Her reactions were human if short-sighted at times. I thought her spiritual quest quite a refreshing aspect of the story. It wasn’t a Find Jesus and Be Saved type of book at all, thank God. Anna explored Taoism, meditation, the concept of the divine being or source being a woman, and the use of personalized prayer beads. Even La Virgen de Guadalupe found a place within her search for meaning.
Although there was a happy-ever-after fairytale quality to some sections, things didn’t always work out the way you would have wished, adding realism to the story. There were a few time lapses in the book. Some events were merely referred to by the characters in conversation, not actually presented. I would have liked to be a fly on the wall for ALL of Anna’s adventures. However, as the book was already 394 pages, I’m sure doing so would have made it humongous!
The characters were well-defined and believable, down to the antics of the 8-year-old neighbor girl. The details were extraordinarily precise. For example, they were not just drinking coffee, but Viennese coffee. Really, The Refuge by Heidi Martin was a delightful read!
I hated to see it end, as all good things must do. I found the twist in the epilogue a pleasant surprise. You’ll have to read it yourself to see what I mean. I have to say that The Refuge by Heidi Martin is more of a chick-flick feel-good type of book. Most men probably won’t get all that finding yourself and establishing a room of your own bit. Their loss, I say. I certainly enjoyed it!