Abby’s Journey by Steena Holms is the sequel to the Saving Abbey. It tells the story of Abby’s childhood living with her father Josh. Her mother Claire died shortly after Abby was born but Abby has a real connection with her mother because Claire had written letters to both Josh and Abby to help guide them through her childhood. She had also left her beautiful illustrations in the books she wrote for children with her husband Josh, videos, journals and postcards, all that brought her mother nearer and nearer to Abby.
Abby was born with bronchopulmonary dysplasia a condition which could easily see a simple every-day cold become life threatening pneumonia. Josh had sat at her bedside in hospital time after time, praying that she had the strength. When she was twenty years of age she begged her father to let her move to a flat-share, but he was reluctant to let her move out. Nobody knew Abby as well as he did or would look after her health needs as he did. Reluctantly Josh agreed to let Abby go on a trip to Europe with Millie, her maternal grandmother, retracing her mother’s footsteps and taking her travel journal with her. She not only looked like her mother, but also her thirst for travel adventures was equal to Claire’s. This is the story of Abbey’s first ever holiday without her father, but guided by her mother. Like her mother she documents her travels, sending out postcards, texts and filling her blog with interesting facts and experiences. She was at last living the life she had always hoped she would.
This is a heart-warming story about parental love, family love and friendship. In the various locations that Abby visits she meets people who knew her mother and had kept mementos of her visit. She uses her mother’s journals to connect to the places she visits and she has the time of her life. She also discovers a family secret that her mother had anticipated and another letter for both Josh and Abby helped her to accommodate and assimilate this information with her mother’s wise words.
I loved the gorgeous descriptions Steena Holmes created of the beautiful places Millie and Abby visited. I only wished I was there to share her experiences.
I received this ARC book from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.