Finding out her entire life is a lie, Meg Hennessey leaves the safety of the town she has grown up with to take a trip up north to meet the family she never knew she had. On her first day in town she meets Micah Allen, son of an ex-pastor who is now in prison. The two strike up a friendship having more in common than first thought. Both are struggling to find themselves and reconnect with their faith that they feel betrayed them. Instead they find a connection that helps them find solace at the same time makes them question the ways they were brought up even more.
Never Saw You Coming is an apt title for a story that I truly did not see coming. Equal parts YA Contemporary and Christian fiction Meg and Micah’s story opened my eyes to a community that was supposed to be about support but instead seemed restrictive, especially towards women. Meg was brought up in a strictly religious household. Her church taught their girls to not catch the eye of a boy, wear clothing that covered their skin, and to keep themselves pure for God and their future husband. When she found out her mother got pregnant when she was a teenager with someone she met from youth group (who died shortly after) and her “father” was her mom’s best friend, all of that strict upbringing seemed totally hypocritical. Instead of taking her gap year like she had decided Meg drives upstate to visit her real dad’s family and see if she can make a connection to them and to her lost faith.
I don’t usually read Christian fiction. Well, I don’t go looking for it anyway but have been pleasantly surprised by a few novels in the past. Never Saw You Coming hit me like a freight train. Meg had this innocence from her sheltered upbringing that brought a joy to the decisions she made when she got to Marquette. When she meets her great-grandmother and uncle she brings to their lives that same joy, and it’s not surprising that she wants to delve into that relationship a bit more. Meg was also homeschooled and didn’t have a ton of friends so is pleased that she seems to have no trouble making friends in Marquette. Especially making friends with Micah who she shyly finds attractive.
Meg and Micah are both secure in their relationship with God, but they aren’t as secure in the way that faith seems to be addressed through Church. This is a topic that is deeply explored in this novel and which, truthfully, opened my eyes. I found this look into their faith fascinating and was really pleased with how the characters explored their questions, rejecting some attitudes, and accepting others. It seemed a realistic viewpoint and although I was a little horrified at how this religion treated Meg, I was pleased with how the men in her life stepped forward claiming that treatment unacceptable. (Thank goodness!)
As with other Erin Hahn novels, I really enjoyed this story! She is a truly talented author and while this topic isn’t my usual I could tell that it meant something to the author and I’m glad she told this story as I think it needed to be told. I’m a bit older than her target demographic but I think this is a message that was well told and needs to be heard. I will definitely be keeping an eye for this author’s next novel as she is quickly becoming a go to author for me. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.
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