I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13). My favorite Bible verse, on the first page of The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch, lassoed me straight in to T.M Gaouette’s YA novel.
We meet Benny, a foster child who trusts no one and lacks faith in God. He’s been moved from place to place and arrives at Sunshine Ranch apprehensive and even unwilling to unpack his bags. Then, we’re introduced to the other foster children, all with diverse issues: depression, sadness, loss, abuse, neglect. Their means of coping is uniquely crafted to each well-developed character.
The foster children need The Sunshine Ranch and they need David and Martha Credence, foster parents who have opened their large white farmhouse and generous hearts to them. Even through David and Martha’s own adversities, the couple gently guides the group of teens toward a loving God, helping them heal from old wounds and deal with new issues.
Dynamics change when new kids arrive at the ranch, and Benny, especially, is challenged at many levels. When the children discover the Credences may lose the ranch, their decisions, difficulties, and hopeful efforts will engage and entertain readers.
Though The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is a YA novel, once you meet the characters, readers of all ages will be intrigued to discover how things will turn out. You’ll root for each child and for the Sunshine Ranch, while enjoying T.M. Gaouette’s rich prose and vivid descriptions.