Where the Blue Sky Begins (2022)

About the Book

Book: Where the Blue Sky Begins

Author: Katie Powner

Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Inspirational

Release Date: October 11, 2022

Sometimes the hardest road of all is the road home.

When confident and handsome Eric Larson is sent to a rural Montana town to work in the local branch of his uncle’s financial company, he’s determined to exceed everyone’s expectations, earn a promotion, and be back in Seattle by the end of summer. Yet nothing could prepare him for the lessons this small town has in store.

At forty-six years old, eccentric and outspoken Eunice Parker has come to accept her terminal illness and has given herself one final goal: seek forgiveness from everyone on her bucket list before her time runs out. But it will take more courage than she can muster on her own.

After an accident pushes Eric and Eunice together, the unlikely pair is forced to spend more time with each other than either would like, which challenges their deepest prejudices and beliefs. As summer draws to a close, neither Eric nor Eunice is where they thought they would be, but they both wrestle with the same important question: What matters most when the end is near?

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My Thoughts

The first thing that caught my attention about Where the Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner was the cover. It’s stunning. It makes me want to get in my car and drive. A road trip sounds great right now! Then I read the back blurb and knew I had to read this book. Here is what I was expecting with this story — a self-centered man journeys to a podunk town where everyone knows each other’s business. He meets an older, wiser woman battling cancer and she teaches him a thing or two before she leaves this earth. While in this podunk place, the man grows up, realizes certain life truths, maybe finds a real woman to fall for, and lives happily ever after. That’s not really this book. This book is WAY more. Yes, Eric is a self-centered man at the start of this story; he actually annoyed me quite a bit. Yes, he is sent to a podunk town in the middle of nowhere by his uncle in the hopes he grows up and understands that God has a bigger purpose for him. And, yes, Eunice is dying and does get Eric to see some of life’s truths. But this is no romance. This is purely a cathartic read, and I needed every minute of it!

I love that Eric is the main character of this story. I love that it’s about his growth as a man. And I love that it’s a journey where he has to learn to step outside of himself and choose others over himself. I love how Eunice is a force to be reckoned with and maneuvers her way into Eric’s life. And I do love all she unknowingly teaches him about forgiveness and making the past right. I so enjoyed their friendship. All of this is so, so good, but what I enjoyed the most is how this book helped me process some of my feelings from my best friend’s death. She, too, had a terminal cancer and I was blessed to support her and her family every step of her battle. It’s not really that Eunice’s character reminded me of my best friend, but rather it’s her walk with Eric through the final stages of her disease that reminded me of my best friend. So much happened so quickly that I often couldn’t process one day’s experience from the next. I just knew to spend as much time with her as I possibly could, as much as she would allow. I have pictures and videos and so many memories of us from throughout the her illness because I knew I needed to record our time together. Perhaps that’s the one blessing of knowing a loved one is going to die — you do NOT take any second with them for granted. As awesome as it is to have all these things, I never really dealt with all that happened each day I took her to doctor appointments and chemo treatments and radiation therapy sessions. I never really processed her final days in the hospital or the night her husband called me to tell me she had passed and I could hear the long beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep of the machines telling me she had flatlined. I just went right into funeral prep mode. And then after the funeral I went back into wife/mother/full-time teacher mode. It’s not even that I wanted to ignore all that had happened, I just didn’t realize that’s what I did until I read Where the Blue Sky Begins. Like Eric, I was selfish. I took the people in my life for granted. Not on purpose, mind you. I just thought my loved one would always be there for me. I honestly didn’t know any better. But then I read this book and processed some of what I went through with my best friend. I have come to realize that she helped me grow up. She helped me be self-less. She helped me see how important it is to tell ALL of my loved ones just how much they mean to me. And she taught me that I am more strong and brave than I actually thought because of my faith in Christ. I have a long way to go before I fully process everything from that time, but I am super grateful this superior story helped me start my processing journey.

Where the Blue Sky Begins is a wonderful story. I loved every second spent with these wonderful characters, and I really loved the catharsis I experienced. I really recommend this book and feel it is not one to miss. It definitely makes my top-ten for the year!

I received a galley copy of this novel in eBook form the publisher, Bethany House, via NetGalley, in order to review. I also received a paperback copy of this novel via Bethany House’s Influencer program in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

3 thoughts on “Where the Blue Sky Begins (2022)

  1. Nicole, thank you so much for spending time with my story. I’m honored by your review. My father had a terminal illness when I was 16 and I have so many regrets…so writing this story was healing for me too. Thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person

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