Nancy's Thoughts on Goodreads:A strange and wonderous friendship ignites the fire of love in May Seymour's life.
May Seymour graduated from college with the world at her feet and no idea what to do with it. A mission trip to Rwanda brought her a sense of purpose in loving others. So when the genocide began she chose to remain in the village, which was subsequently slaughtered. Only May survived.
May journeyed to heal on the farm of Claudius Borne, a sweet, innocent old man who understood plants and animals far better than people.
Years later, having not stepped a foot off Claudius' farm, May learns an old college flame, now a death-row inmate, is refusing to appeal his sentence. Can she convince him to grab hold of life once again? Their surprising friendship turns the tables, for the prisoner, Eli Campbell, has a deeper faith from which to draw than she. Eli slowly begins to pull May from her cloistered existence. With the help of Eli, their tiny town, and ultimately a renewal of faith, May comes to life once again.
The story begins with Claudius, an older bachelor in the autumn of his life, praying to see an angel. Instead, he finds May Seymour, a twenty-something graduate of University of Kentucky, with dreams of journalism. A friendship is quickly developed and May becomes Claudius' surrogate daughter, as she continues her quest for what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She briefly brushes shoulders (perhaps more than just shoulders) with Claudius' distant cousin, Eli, who was of some interest to May at UK. At this point Eli is peripheral.
May has already made arrangements to be a relief worker in Rwanda. She stays on Claudius' farm for a couple of months before she leaves to Rwanda. At the same time, Eli leaves for war in Afghanistan. Eli also has a shotgun wedding and becomes a father shortly thereafter.
The time that the author has chosen for May to be in Rwanda is during the atrocious Hutu vs. Tutsi war. May is a relief worker in a village populated with mostly Tutsi people, the tribe that is being persecuted. Her experiences are told in a single chapter, as she learns the way of the people, loves the people, seeks solace with the priest at the church, the rising tensions, and her eventual escape which does not leave her unscathed.
May returns to Kentucky to heal. The healing process takes the rest of the book with further development of previous characters that completely delighted me. The author writes a cohesive story with solid writing style that pulls the reader from scene to scene. Very well written.
I have no specific complaint about the book. Again, well written and solid story. I just didn't love it. It is going to be one of those books that when someone mentions Rwanda, I will recall the two books I read about the war. I loved the characters the author created, and they are very well developed. I appreciated Eli's predicament and May's anxiety disorder. I guess I just feel like the book didn't give me a solid ending, although it does have a conclusion that covers all of the characters.
Does anyone agree or disagree with this review?**I decided to use this review because I really like what it had to say and it was the way that I felt toward the book also. The truth is that I couldn't get through the book because it was not really my genre, so I asked if I could borrow her review. I wanted you all to get a good luck out how the book is.**