Home is the place to heal, right? At least, that's what Dillon Michaels is hoping as she leaves her disappointing career and nonstarter love life behind to help her grieving and aging grandfather on his small Oregon farm. The only problem? Her eccentric mother beat her there and has taken over Dillon's old room. After a few nights sleeping on a sagging sofa, Dillon is ready to give up, until she receives an unlikely gift--her grandfather's run-down vintage camp trailer, which she quickly resolves to restore with the help of Jordan Atwood, the handsome owner of the local hardware store.
But just when things are finally beginning to run smoothly, Dillon's noncommittal ex-boyfriend shows up with roses . . . and a ring.
"Her only recourse---a lesson she'd learned long ago, but sometimes forgot---was to give her heartache to God. She knew his ways were higher than hers. And she knew he could handle her brokenness...and that, in time, he would restore her. She would get past this."
Dillon Michaels is such a special person but she hasn't always had it easy. A boyfriend unable to commit to marriage, an ogre for a boss, and a mother who has always seemed like the child in their relationship. Dillon finally decides to put it all behind her and go back to her grandfather's home to help him adjust to her grandmother's death but her mother has already arrived. Sleeping on a lumpy couch and dealing with her mother are certainly not the best of circumstances but things turn around when her grandfather gives her his old camper to renovate. Her frequent trips to the local hardware store allow her to get to know Jordan Atwood, the store owner, and Dillon is thrilled to find advice and friendship with this confirmed bachelor.
This is such an entertaining story and I enjoyed watching a budding romance develop between Dillon and Jordan. I also found The Happy Camper to be educational because I actually found some great tips about renovating a used camper. There are, of course, memorable characters that both complicate and enhance Dillon and Jordan's lives and there are situations that suggest an unhappy ending. Her mother Margo is frustrating, to say the least, but Dillon's grandfather is always there to support and guide her. There is also another woman who has her eye on Jordan and Dillon's old boyfriend shows up, wanting to get back together. Through it all, faith and family play an important role and I appreciate that there are many reminders that forgiveness is the key to finding peace and happiness and that trust in God is essential.
Melody Carlson has once again created a fun, clean, and inspiring story and I can already imagine it as a Hallmark movie. I recommend The Happy Camper to all who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction.
I received a copy of this book from Revell. I wasn't obligated to write a favorable review and I am voluntarily sharing my honest thoughts.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.
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