Karen Marino’s life is a nightmare. The New York City restaurant manager is a professional success, but her marriage is in shambles. When her husband, Barry shows up drunk at her restaurant, she loses both.
She flees The Big Apple and returns to her Midwestern home to sort through her options. But instead of answers, she finds an old boyfriend ready to rekindle romance, a family full of secrets and an angry brother bent on revenge.
Karen wants to do the right thing, but how do you forgive the unforgivable? As she searches for the answer, she uncovers a family secret that threatens to tear them all apart. Can she find her way back to the place Where Hope Starts?
Karen Marino has suffered numerous obstacles in life, commencing at age 13 when a family secret changed her entire family structure and remained an undercurrent throughout her life. Her successful career is thwarted, her marriage is in ruins, her family estranged, and her mother is dying. Her friends offer suggestions that she seek help from God, but she is convinced that God doesn't care. When life with her abusive husband becomes more than she can bear she leaves him to seek answers to the secrets of her past, with hopes of reconciliation with her family. She encounters her high school sweetheart, adding another burden to her already full plate, and finds that she cannot cope with her family's dysfunctional status. Sabotage lurks around every corner with no end to the desolation and chaos in her life.
This book delineates numerous social issues, verbal and physical abuse, alcoholism, pornography, gambling, dysfunctional relationships, PTSD, infidelity, deception, etc. The protagonist is in tears throughout the book. Numerous characters are introduced, making it a bit difficult to follow at times. Forgiveness is the focus throughout this complicated plot. Many issues are broached in this book with goals to resolution expected in a brief time period. I would have enjoyed seeing this book broken up into a series in order for events to unfold in a more natural progression and time frame, but the goals of forgiveness and hope are strong points in this Christian fiction story. The author is gifted in descriptive elements regarding location and setting, and the plot, although complicated, is commendable.