By Laura K. Denton
Thomas Nelson, 2021
Genre: Clean Romance/Christian Fiction
“Edie was a mother, and mothers had certain codes, just like doctors. Do no harm. Put others first. Help when needed. And always love – even when it’s hard. Even when it flies in the face of everything you feel.”
The One You’re With is a love story. Only it’s probably not the kind you may be thinking of. In fact, it’s anything but a frothy “beach read.” This book is sturdy and substantive. It’s about love. Loyalty. Sacrifice and selflessness. Sticking with it and standing firm, even when the chips are down. It’s about choices and consequences. Mistakes. Grace. And most of all, second chances.
Mac and Edie Swan have The Perfect Life. A successful pediatrician, Mac is well-loved and highly respected in the town of Oak Hill, Alabama. Edie is a much-sought-after interior designer. Pillars of the community, the Swans have two kids. A beautiful home. Sterling reputations. And a secret that threatens to tear them apart.
After his junior year of college, Mac and his long-time sweetheart, Edie, decide to separate for the summer and sort things out. Mac spends the summer working as a deck hand at a marina. Edie interns with an upscale interior design firm in New York.
They jump back into their relationship in the fall “as if nothing had changed.” They soon get married. But something did change that summer. Something big.
Twenty years later, on his 40th birthday, Mac finds out just how big when a young woman he’s never laid eyes on before appears in the waiting room of his thriving pediatric practice. The girl’s sudden appearance up-ends his – and Edie’s – entire life. And it all comes crashing down.
“She refused. She was standing right in front of him, yet he felt her slipping away. Just like Graham was slipping away. And Edie too. And there was nothing he could do about any of them.”
Set mostly amid the scorching summer heat of Alabama, the action glides seamlessly between Summer 2000 and Present Day. The narration shifts between Mac and Edie as we crawl inside both of their heads and hearts to unravel a decades-old secret. (Scene stealer: Dr. Abraham Fitzgerald, Mac’s friend and mentor.)
A lively and winsome read, The One You’re With echoes timeless truths without hitting you over the head with them. Finely crafted, three-dimensional characters and expert pacing highlight this gripping page turner. We read it cover-to-cover in one sitting.
Truth? We’d never heard of this author. Just grabbed the book off a library shelf on the fly. But believe you me, we will certainly be coming back for more of Laura K. Denton. Have you read any of her books?