Harvest House Publishers
Author Melanie M. Jeschke continues The Oxford Chronicles series with her new book, Expectations. Sequel to the book Inklings, Expectations follows the lives of newlyweds David and Kate MacKenzie through a year of upheaval, joy, and heartbreak. Following an unexpected pregnancy and move to France, the young couple finds their love for each other and their families, as well as their faith in God, put to the test.
Jeschke successfully draws readers into the story with three-dimensional characters, realistic dialogue, and believable plots. The main characters of the book are David and Kate MacKenzie; however, subplots revolve around the lives of their two friends, Oxford dons Austen Holmes and Yvette Goodman. In the face of misfortune and eminent disaster, these four young people learn to depend on God and each other when their lives are crumbling around them.
The life of Kate MacKenzie, a twenty-year-old Oxford student, is thrown into turmoil when she discovers that she is pregnant and her husband, an Oxford don, has been invited to spend a semester in Paris as a guest teacher. Kate finds it difficult enough being a student married to a professor, and the pregnancy is only an added burden, but she attempts to hide her feelings from her husband. David, on the other hand, is thrilled about both the opportunity to teach in Paris and his upcoming fatherhood.
Meanwhile, the MacKenzies’ friends, Austen and Yvette, are experiencing hardships of their own. Twenty-eight-year-old Yvette struggles with loneliness and longs for a husband and family, yet asks God for patience to wait for His timing. Austen also struggles with loneliness, feeling as though a part of him died with his young wife. He knows he needs to move on with his life, but feels that by moving on he will somehow be betraying her.
Unaware of the difficulties their friends are facing, the MacKenzies move to Paris and begin their semester of teaching and studying. Kate eventually has a change of heart, and both she and her husband wait eagerly for the birth of the baby. Tragedy looms when doctors are unable to find the baby’s heartbeat during one of Kate’s check-ups. She goes into labor early, only to deliver a stillborn daughter. In the aftermath of this disaster, Kate struggles to understand why God could allow such a thing to happen, blaming Him for the death of her baby. In time, she is able to accept it as a part of His plan.
This book is geared primarily toward women, and those who have experienced the loss of a baby will especially be able to relate. Fans of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien will appreciate the inclusion of these two Oxford men in the story. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking, enjoyable book, then your Expectations will be met. -- Hannah M.K. Rexroth, Christian Book Previews.com
An unforgettable tale of dreams pursued in Tolkien’s Oxford and romantic Paris. A beautiful autumn afternoon in 1965 finds Kate, David, Austen Holmes, and Yvette Goodman each on their way to the Eastgate Hotel to meet the others. Kate has just learned that she is pregnant. Yvette is struggling with her single status as her twenty–ninth birthday nears. Austen quickly pays a brief visit to the grave of his young wife. David is bursting with the good news that he has been invited to spend the winter term as a visiting lecturer at the American University in Paris.
They all have longings, hopes, and dreams. Will God provide as they trust He will, or is His plan for each of them something far beyond their expectations?