Genre

Romance

Audience

Adult

Author’s Worldview

Catholic

Year Published

2021

Themes

forgiveness, starting over with someone who hurt you, marriage, co-habitation, Catholicism

Reviewed by

Tiffany Buck

Sometimes all it takes for us to question ourselves and what we believe in is one person. Fifteen years ago, Emma, a young talented amateur writer and singer got her heart broken by Christopher at youth camp. After pouring out her heart to him, she learned that her “soulmate” nearly conned her into sleeping with him just to win a bet. Learning about that bet changed Emma’s view of the world. She stopped writing and her relationships with men suffered. Emma hoped she’d never see Christopher again, but God had other plans for the two of them.

Returning to Canada from a two-week vacation, Emma and Christopher cross paths at an airport. It was a brief encounter, but one that stirred up emotion. Neither of them has gotten over the other. Christopher apologized to Emma for hurting her and even asked if she’s still writing. Before they part ways at the airport, Christopher tells Emma, “I hope you find joy.”

Emma is a successful advertisement executive at Gilles Marketing firm. While on vacation, her firm was bought out. Thankfully Emma and her team were able to keep their job, with a slight change. Emma is now the Vice President of Philanthropy and Development. As if this wasn’t a big enough shock, Christopher is her new boss and plans on working with her on her new project, a fundraiser for the St. Michael Family Service Center.

It is the work on the fundraiser with Christopher that eventually heals Emma’s past hurts. She learns to forgive from the heart and find her happily-ever-after. Forgiveness and starting fresh with someone who hurt you are at the heart of this book. We all have been wounded by others, and as Christians, especially Catholics, we are called to forgive. The sacrament of Reconciliation is a healing sacrament. After Emma goes to confession, the knots of pain slowly begin to unravel.

Girl has crush on boy. Boy breaks girl’s heart. It’s a common theme.  It’s so simple to side with the girl, only this isn’t the same old love story. The heartbreaker is the hero. He’s come a long way from being an arrogant teenager. What changed? He acknowledged his wrongdoings and put his faith in God. A bad boy redeemed. The only question is can he unlock Emma’s heart?

 I Hope You Find Joy highlights the importance of forgiveness. It’s that theme that kept my interest. Emma’s internal feeling are at the for-front of the book. Readers who like more action may have a difficult time with this one. Note: there is premarital sex and cohabitation in this book.

Ms. Albano has created a slow-burning romance that begins with distrust and blossoms into joy. In the age of cancel culture, this book shines a light on past sins and asks for forgiveness. I recommend this book to all adults. Both Emma and Christopher are Catholics, and the beauty of Sacrament of Reconciliation is on display at a Catholic retreat. This may limit non-Catholics’ enjoyment of the book.

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