The Family Journal by Carolyn Brown

Sometimes, it takes blowing everything up – to find your true life. ~Sheila

Lily Anderson still finds herself reeling from a messy divorce leaving her with full custody of her two young teen children Holly and Braden. When Holly is caught smoking in the Library, Lily realizes that in her own grief she has neglected to give the attention to her kids that they need. At her wits end she takes the kids cell phones and IPADS and declares a do-over. Feeling they all need a fresh start she makes the decision to move the kids and herself back to her family home in Comfort, Texas.

The home is occupied by longtime renter Mack Cooper, a local teacher, who agrees to share the home with Lily and the kids while they take a break and reset.

Yet, things have a way of changing of changing in ways you never expect…

As Lily finds a part time job with two of her longtime friends and the kids become settled in school things start to change for the better. Mack’s occasional help with the kids and friendship isn’t a bad thing either as Lily starts to wonder if this truly just a temporary move –

or has she stumbled for once in the right direction.

“there was no room in a heart for both love and hate. She said that hate would soon eat up its half of the heart and want more and more until soon there would be no love left for anyone.”
― Carolyn Brown, The Family Journal

My Thoughts…

The Family Journal is just the type of book I like when my mind is full and I can use a mind break. Not heavy or over engaging, this book is a sweet read about a family ripped apart through divorce and circumstances and yet finds a way to reconnect in powerful ways.

I enjoyed the relationships between Lily and her kids although Holly’s change especially seemed like it changed a little too quick from rebellious young teen to complying caring daughter. Even with little notes of “hmmm…. that was easy….” it was still an enjoyable read by an author I have come to appreciate for engaging family driven stories.

Carolyn Brown is mostly a romance author which is absolutely NOT in my genre wheelhouse. However – she does have a few gems out there that are not based on heavy romance, such as The Sometimes Sisters which I recently read and reviewed.

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