For Merit Sullivan, how can life ever be Like Always when her husband Will trades his secure job of a lifetime in the Bay area for a dream to operate a rundown resort in the wilderness of Idaho? When her son Michael returns from Iraq an emotionally wounded stranger? When she finds out in one day that she's pregnant and has an aggressive form of leukemia?
Suddenly Merit is alone in her cause to hold onto a tiny life that puts her own at greater risk. Never spiritually strong, Will is struggling to support her and leans on the pastor of the local church. Her estranged sister Sydney—a cat-loving, vegetarian, New Ager—attacks men in general, Will in particular, and the church for Merit's decision to keep the baby and put off treatment. Michael and Merit’s two young daughters seesaw between hope and despair. Yet Merit finds help and friendship in young Stephanie Unruh, the local pastor's daughter. And so does Michael. After someone leaks Merit's story, the national press descends on Kokanee Cove. Life is certainly not like it always was. But does God have something better in mind?
Rita Fedrizzi, a forty-one-year-old Italian woman who found she was pregnant and had cancer at the same time, inspired Robert Elmer to write Like Always. Fedrizzi rejected cancer treatment in order to give life to her baby.
Elmer takes us through the emotions and thinking of Merit, Will, Sydney, and those around them. He describes the conflict, the pain, the misunderstandings, and the passions aroused by Merit's decision in a moving tale of courage, love, and selflessness. The author portrays the characters so realistically in their challenges, hopes, and fears that I found thoughts of them pursuing me throughout the day. Readers will not want to put this story down until they complete the journey with Merit and Will.
I thoroughly enjoyed Like Always. However, I did have one technical problem. The story alludes to a time of intimacy between Will and Merit the end of April being responsible for her pregnancy. But the baby is not born until Easter. This makes an eleven-month pregnancy. Other than this timing problem, it's a thoughtful, tender love story of a woman for her unexpected child, a husband for his wife, and two estranged sisters for one another. Readers of tender heart may expect to shed a few tears. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
When Will and Merit Sullivan decide to escape midlife blues and buy a small, dilapidated resort in northern Idaho, their dreams finally seem within reach. More importantly, their twenty-year-old son Michael has just returned from Iraq, thrilling his younger sisters and making their family complete again.
So the morning Merit discovers she is pregnant, at the age of forty-five, she is shocked. Can their lake lifestyle adjust to having a little one in the house? It seems too much to ask–until devastating news forces the biggest decision of all. As Will and Merit face the greatest trial of their lives, the couple must re-examine their faith and their devotion to each other in a truer way than they could ever have imagined.
Inspired by a true story, Like Always explores the triumph of real-life love and asks if we can ever go back to the way things used to be.