Jan Ruth does it again. Complicated doesn't quite sum it up. The characters become your extended family - their turbulent relationships become your business. Sometimes you want to shake them, tell them to grow up and stop acting like idiots, but you can't help but warm to them.
This story is an endearing tale of two people daring to hope for love again. Will it be easy? Nah, of course not. Especially since lovable, immature, rogue Al is involved. Despite the fact that he clearly has his flaws, and is a deeply troubled soul, you can't help but root for him. Kate is a wonderfully real woman. I love the fact that she is SO real as well, and didn't just step out of a woman's glossy.
I really enjoyed this book. The twists and turns pile up. Life's issues snake around the major characters like a boa constrictor. Choking away and squeezing at their murky secrets until they explode in everyone's faces. By this point of course you are frantically turning the pages, desperate to know how it all pans out.
Lovely scenery and settings, as always. Like so many others have said, even the animals become solid characters in their own right. You are there with them all, up to the knees in mud and manure. Lugging horse tack and feed around with them while listening to their tales unfold.
Needless to say I highly recommend this book. It's brilliantly paced, with gritty, believable dialogue and interactions against a beautiful backdrop. Read it, you won't regret it.