Saturday, August 13, 2011

Keile's Chance by Dillon Watson

Publisher:                Bella Books

“Sweet” isn’t a word that I normally use to describe anything except candy, but, in this case, it applies to this book.  Keile’s Chance is a sweet and gentle story about two women who have been severely damaged by other people and are trying to learn whether or not they can move on with their lives.

Keile Griffen’s early life was shattered when her parents abandoned her to a foster care system that provided for her physical needs, but not the emotional nurturing she craved.  She moved into adulthood determined to be successful and prove that she could take care of herself without anyone’s help.  As an overworked, but extremely gifted planning consultant, she’s achieved her goals, but her personal life, what little there is of it, is lonely.  The most constant being in her life is her dog Trashcan, who brings her great happiness, but not really enough.  One day when she takes Can to the dog park a little boy wanders out of nowhere and latches onto Keile, who he insists on calling “Mama.”  Reuniting Kyle with his mother Hayden Davenport turns Keile’s life upside down.  Keile feels an overwhelming and unexplainable love for this little boy and seeing his mother deal with him causes Keile to have feelings she’s never experienced.  Hayden finds Keile funny, smart and terribly attractive, but she’s careful with her heart.  Her previous partner walked out on her as they were planning their family and Hayden doesn’t want to expose herself or her child to that kind of heartache again.  Slowly, surely, Hayden and Keile begin to build a relationship that has great possibility for both of them, then Hayden’s former partner shows up.  Keile’s life spins out of control as she feels the rejection of her childhood being repeated and Hayden shuts down her emotions as she fears that she’s making the same mistake with Keile that she made before.  Can the love of a little boy lead them to a place of mutual happiness?

The nice aspect to Keile’s Chance is that it has characters that are totally believable and pacing that allows the story to develop instead of just spilling out.  Keile and Hayden are tentative and deal with real issues.  They don’t just jump into a relationship and then into bed.  The reader gets a chance to see how they wrestle with their pasts, the impact that has on what they are doing and the bumps in the road.  The only contrived plot point involves Keile and Hayden’s brother, but though forced, it is possible that something of that type could happen.   

As a whole this is a very enjoyable book to read, a well-told story.  It won the Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Debut Author for Dillon Watson.

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