About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Road to Happenstance by Janice L. Dick


One man running from his past, two women he’s attracted to, and a peculiar town that won’t let him go.

Matthew Sadler rides his ’77 Harley into Happenstance, intent on passing through, but people and events conspire to prevent his leaving.
The elderly Barlow sisters consider Matt their knight on a motorcycle. Matt is entranced by Roni, the other lodger at the Happenstance Hotel who bears an uncanny resemblance to Matt’s beloved, deceased wife. The young doctor in town, Paula Percy, adores Matt’s motorcycle. However, she is suspicious of the woman from the hotel.
As the days pass, the quaint little town, with its unique residents, begins to show its sinister side. When evidence of multiple thefts leads to Matt’s door, he must deal with a mystery and yet more false accusations.
Do the old diaries of Amanda Rutherford Barlow hold the answers Matt so desperately seeks? Will Happenstance finally let him go, or does he have a reason to stay?
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I live in a small Kentucky county that still has three standing covered bridges and the cover of this book immediately drew my attention but, as I read the story, it was the similarity of Happenstance to my small community that really drew me in. A place where people care about each other but they also know a lot about each other and this can sometimes be a double-edged sword. Matt Sadler finds the small town of Happenstance by accident (or was it?) and he soon finds himself caught up in the lives of the residents. He also discovers that his plan to stay a few days isn't going to happen and he eventually realizes that he doesn't want it to!

"Something happened to me as I crossed the bridge into Happenstance. I can't explain it, except to say that for some reason, I think I was meant to be here."

These are the words found in a journal written in September, 1922, and they prove to be words that may mirror Matt Sadler's feelings in 2020. He had a strong reason for leaving his teaching job and it is kept from us for much of the story. What we do see is a man, still grieving for his deceased wife, who experiences a revival of romantic feelings when he meets a young woman who looks very much like his Ginny. He soon encounters a mystery that involves this look-alike, the two elderly sisters that he has grown fond of, and a centuries-old residence with a secret of its own. Through it all, readers are reminded of the joys of living in a community of decent people who are willing to offer forgiveness and second chances.

This is the first time I've read any of Janice Dick's writing and I thoroughly enjoyed The Road to Happenstance. If you enjoy Christian fiction with a touch of suspense and a possibility of romance, you will want to read The Road to Happenstance.

I received an e-copy of this book but there was no obligation to post a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Janice L. Dick was born and raised in southern Alberta, Canada, into an ethnic Mennonite farm family. She has always loved stories of family heritage and the emigration of her people from Russia. Her aim is not only to share the faith journeys of her forebears, but also to showcase God’s sovereignty in the midst of that milieu. Besides historical fiction, Janice writes contemporary novels and short stories, blogs, articles and book reviews. Janice is the winner of the 2016 Janette Oke Award.
Learn more about Janice L. Dick by visiting her Website        Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest     

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