Even Now, by Karen Kingsbury and published by Zondervan (Reprint Edition, 2013), will stir your heart and keep you reading into the night to find out what happens. It is a story of lost love and the miracle of forgiveness and reunion.

The novel begins with eighteen year-old Emily and her grandparents, Angela and Bill Anderson. She has lived with them her entire life. Emily attends Wheaton College, plays soccer and is studying to become a writer. She has never met her parents and her grandparents haven’t spoken a lot about the past. They have mentioned that when she was about a month old, her mother, Lauren disappeared. The Andersons have never been able to find her, despite hiring numerous private investigators. Emily knows her father’s name is Shane and that he lives in Los Angeles, California. She and her grandparents have always lived in the Chicago, Illinois area.

Emily is home on Christmas break when her grandfather pulls out a large box in the garage and gives it to her. In the box are her mother’s writings.

The storyline goes back to the high school days of Lauren Anderson and Shane Galanter. They are high school sweethearts and their parents are the best of friends. When Lauren becomes pregnant at seventeen, the parents pull away from each other and are determined to separate their children. The teens get engaged just before Shane and his family move to Los Angeles, California.

The Anderson family also moves. The mothers of the teens have decided that their children’s love should be tested and that the teens should have no contact for a time. But Bill Anderson, hoping to protect his daughter, wants the relationship to end. He takes steps to ensure that his daughter’s whereabouts will not be known.

Lauren finds out what they did. She takes out all the money she has in savings and begins a trip across the country with her newborn daughter. Even though she has no address or phone number for the Galanter family, she is determined to look for and find Shane, the love of her life. Halfway there, the baby contracts pneumonia, and Lauren is forced to return.

Although still feeling betrayed by her parents, she enlists her mother’s aid to get the baby to the hospital. The doctor is not hopeful the child will live. Lauren’s mother tries to comfort her and encourages the exhausted Lauren to get some rest; Mrs. Anderson will remain at the hospital in her place. After sleeping at home for ten hours, Lauren calls the hospital. A mix-up involving a baby with a similar name leads Lauren to believe that Emily has died. She packs her belongings into her car and sets out once again to find Shane. She does not find him, but begins making a life for herself in California. She does not contact her parents.

The story fast forwards to the eighteen-year-old Emily. She reads her mother’s writings with gusto, longing to find a clue as to Lauren’s whereabouts. Emily is a strong Christian and asks the Lord to give her the miracle of finding her parents for Christmas.

The rest of the novel shows how God answers Emily’s prayer and even goes beyond her desires. I think young people ages eighteen and up would benefit from reading this tale. It is the story of how things can go wrong when we are disobedient to the Lord’s commands, and yet also, how great are His love and forgiveness. I enjoyed this story very much. It was enlightening and heartwarming.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”