All That it Takes
– Nicole Deese –
Bethany House Publishers
Published 5 April 2022
All That It Takes is the companion novel to All That Really Matters. It is a beautiful story about heartbreak, falling in love when you least expect it, supportive communities and finding your place in the world. It is so full of delightful moments, I was smiling 99% of the time while reading. It’s just so incredibly sweet, but at a deep, heartwarming and powerful level.
Val Locklier and her son Tucker have just moved from Alaska to join Val’s friend Molly (who featured in All That Really Matters). Val has taken a leap of newly-forming faith, and when her apartment plans fall through, Molly helps her to relocate to Miles’ top floor apartment. But when Miles returns from his latest mission trip, weary and worn down by the church leadership that is grinding his ministry and outreach into nothing, he is shocked to find Val in the apartment upstairs. It turns into a blessing, when helping Val and her son become the only bright spots in Miles’ day and Val finds support and encouragement to follow her dreams through a filmmaking internship. Both Miles and Val are challenged to face their pasts as they decide what their future holds.
As in All That Really Matters, All That It Takes centres itself around a story of romance and a good cause. Miles finds himself removed from outreach ministry and demoted to overseeing the local family resource centre. He’s just biding his time until he can find another pastor position and return to Mexico. When he asks Val to help him update the website, she is drawn into the centre’s work and reaches out to a young girl in need of love and support. It raises so many memories for Val, memories she’d rather stay hidden. All That It Takes talks about teen and unexpected pregnancy, single mothers and a community of women who are there for and support each other. Themes around suicide and abortion are referenced, but only ever in a supportive, non-judgemental way, and it brings a power to the story and Val and Miles’ connection.
Watching Miles and Val connect in such a comfortable, easy way was simply pure pleasure. The deeper themes and watching them share with each other the stories of their past and their dreams for their future, give this story depth, but is was the simple moments, shared smiles, easy conversations around the fire and of course delightful kisses that I loved so much about this book.
A beautiful companion novel, All That It Takes is as delightful as it’s predecessor and it’s cover.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Adult fiction.
Genre: Christian contemporary
Themes: Romance, film, mission, internships, pastors, churches.
Advisory: References to suicidal thoughts and references to abortion.
Published: 5 April 2022 by Bethany House Publishers
Format: Paperback, ebook. 352 pages.