Joanna Mathis, a guidance counselor, was seeking employment closer to her parents’ house to help her mom out with her father’s health. Her mom told her of a position that was open at St. John’s school and she went to apply for it. When she entered the hallway, she felt a familiarity with the place since it was the school that she had attended many years prior. While watching the students bustling around, she was greeted with a rich deep baritone voice that was all too familiar to her. Why was he here though? Nolan Kent greeted Joanna and he immediately noticed just how beautiful she was even after seven years of not seeing her, but also noticed just how much she had changed as her mother had informed him. She was totally surprised as to why he was there at that very moment. He told her that he was the assistant principal of the school and immediately she felt that she was in over her head now. He invited her into his office and they began chatting. Nervous as ever because she was still very attracted to him, she answered his questions as best she could without trying to put the walls down that still protected her heart. She carried the guilt all by herself for seven years. Once her older brother Dylan died, who was also Nolan’s best friend, Joanna shut the world out including the guy she loved and thought about spending the rest of her life with- Nolan. Her brother was gone now and she had to live with knowing that. She wanted to suffer by herself because of what she had done. Now facing being home with her parents again, working in her old school that she, her brother and Nolan attended and having to face Nolan again was just all too much for her to handle. Did Nolan still love Joanna? Could he be the one that helped her find her way out of the deep guilt and hurt that she was harboring all these years? Would she finally forgive herself for what had happened and move on with her life? Would that mean involving Nolan in her life again? From the very first sentence I read I could feel the pain that Joanna was self-inflicting upon herself. My heart cried out for her because she was the only one doing this to herself. Her family and ex-boyfriend weren’t blaming her for what had happened, but still that wasn’t enough for Joanna to forgive herself. Ms. Schultz penned an emotional and very inspirational read in this fantastic story. It will definitely tug at your heartstrings as it did with mine. Ms. Schultz has a way with words and can convey emotions to extreme depths. This is definitely one I would recommend to any reader.
Joanna Mathis has lived the last seven years of her life without the man she loves and without her faith in God. Shattered by a tragedy that stole her hope and her brother’s life, she's built a wall around her heart to stop from feeling. Going Back home changes that and brings her face to face not only with her broken spirit, but Nolan Kent. Nolan Kent has spent the last seven years missing his best friend and mourning the loss of Joanna. When she comes back into his life, he can’t help but wonder if it is to test his faith, or if it’s an answer to his prayers. Through the hurt of the past, and shaky ground of a future, can Nolan get Joanna to realize that not only does he still love her, but the Lord does as well?