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Forgivin' Ain't Forgettin'    by Mata Elliott order for
Forgivin' Ain't Forgettin'
by Mata Elliott
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)
Softcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

It's taken a long time for Cassidy Beckett to leave the past behind. A heartbreaking betrayal shattered her world long ago, leaving her dispirited and believing she is unworthy of God's love. Now, years later, she's finally found a place for herself. She loves her job as a schoolteacher, enjoys running the reading program of her church, but most of all, she adores the children who cross her path on a daily basis.

Although everyone from her elderly aunt to her next-door neighbor is pushing Cassidy toward a relationship, that's not a goal she's interested in pursuing. And she definitely doesn't want to get involved with Trevor Monroe, the recently widowed single father the entire community is talking about. But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and as Trevor and Cassidy find themselves drawn to one another, they both realize that in order to find happiness in the present, they must first deal with their pasts.

Forgivin' Ain't Forgettin' is primarily a novel about dealing with grief. Cassidy and Trevor are both grieving, and as the story progresses, difficult circumstances continue to test their limits and their abilities to deal with the challenges life throws at them. Elliott's portrayal of the community's involvement in the private lives of the main characters adds another layer of realism and heightens the level of tension running through the pages.

At times a heart wrenching, difficult book, Forgivin' Ain't Forgettin' deals with a number of controversial subjects, from adoption to pre-marital living arrangements and the potential reasons behind extra-marital affairs. While the author hasn't penned a light read by any means, she did sprinkle threads of hope throughout the melancholy plot. Vivid secondary characters and a confident, detailed writing-style round out this inspirational story.

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