A Thanksgiving Miracle — Book Review

Ruth put her daughter up for adopting some 16 years ago. Living on her own after running away from home, Ruth found herself pregnant thanks to a night of naiveté and what she felt was obligatory sex. She was in no condition to increase a child, being just a child herself really. She named the baby Heather, and handed her over to be used. Ever since, she’d ached to know where her young daughter was.

Hiring a private private investigator was the first step. And he’d found her. Or at least, he’d found her adoptive family. Heather had recently disappear. Once again, an 18-year-old girl was out on the road. Ruth just knew that Heather would end up exactly like she ucdm did… lost, confused, and pregnant. Feeling that she knew where Heather might have gone, Ruth sets out to rescue her daughter. Doing a trace for the same path she’d taken as a runaway, Ruth revisits the interstate exit ramps of Rte. 80 across Philadelphia, facing the shadows of memories of her own experiences. The nights sleeping in the shrubbery on the hard ground, the periods spent keeping before creeps and the police. Will Ruth be able to catch up with Heather before it is too late? Is Heather truly following in her single parent’s footsteps along the interstate and into hiding in New york city?

This trip and the memories trigger emotional reactions in Ruth that she cannot hide from her husband. Jack knows nothing of Heather and the truth will set him on a path of distrust, lose hope and grieving for what he thinks is his marriage lost. Ruth confides in her cleaning lady, an adolescent girl of 16 herself, that she is desperate to find her runaway daughter before anything terrible happens to her. Ellie has her own troubles, being pregnant and unmarried, and she and Ruth form a bond over their shared pain.

Do Thanksgiving miracles really happen? Will Ruth find her lost daughter, and if she does, will Heather hate her for giving her up? Will Ellie keep her baby or will she make a different choice that may stay with her for life? Will Jack discover a way to eliminate Ruth for hiding such a huge part of her life, and is it feasible for him to find his trust for her again? Will the detective agency find Heather before her adoptive family does?

Water wells Earl Draughon offers a “Thanksgiving Miracle” that will touch the bears of readers everywhere. His writing is fresh and modern, yet the values he details on are as traditional as turkey in December. Draughon’s characters are deep and distraught, leading the reader to care for them, cry with them, and anticipate to celebrate the vacation with them. This is a thought provoking novel that will invigorate the giving of thanks for things we often skip over… an awareness of self, love and support, and family. An excellent story to see at any time of the year, “Thanksgiving Miracle” is a well written look at life, pure and complicated.

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