Publishers Weekly Review
Jenkins continues the saga of Henry Adams, Kans.-the historic town settled by former slaves and purchased on Ebay by Bernadine Brown in Bring on the Blessings. Bernadine is back, alongside the eclectic cast of town characters, including a few new residents. In this second of the series, the town has to come together to deal with a potentially calamitous embezzlement scandal, new township merging offers, a near shut-down of the town's only diner, and a cash-strapped wedding for two of Henry Adams's most adored residents. Although the novel is abuzz with subplots, Bernadine's longtime neighbor and friend Gemma Dahl occupies the central thread. Gemma's quiet life is disrupted when she comes across two orphaned children, Lucas and Jaz Herman, stranded on the road after a torrential storm. Gemma is determined to give the kids a home after hearing their horrendous stories of life in the foster system, but is shocked to discover that she cannot foster African-American children due to racial biases within the state's social services. Heartbroken at being ripped from their new home, Lucas and Jaz start to lose hope that they will ever have a normal family life. In this winsome novel, Jenkins opens up the small, insular town to embrace the dreams of society's most marginalized. Fans of Jenkins will enjoy the many new plotlines and characters established, and readers new to Henry Adams will be enthralled by Gemma's story of determination. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Jenkins' latest smart and highly enjoyable Blessings novel, following Stepping to a New Day (2016), deals with such serious issues as racism and such fun themes as wedding planning. Gemma is driving to work after a storm and finds two orphaned African American children with no place to go. She and her 12-year-old son take them in only to run up against a social worker who does not think these children belong with a white parent. Gemma persists, struggling with job issues as she builds a home for all three children. Meanwhile, dreams of her ancestors help matriarch Tamar find the benefits of forgiveness when a hated cousin comes to Blessings to die. Rocky finds the perfect leather wedding outfit and a way to overcome her fears of marriage. A new restaurant threatens a popular diner's success, and the owner absconds with the cash and the computer files. Throughout all this turmoil, the Kansas town pulls together. The talented, insightful Jenkins infuses tragic stories with emotion and hope. Fans of Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove novels will love the Blessings series.--Alessio, Amy Copyright 2017 Booklist