AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes a heart-wrenching and redemptive story about a couple desperately waiting to bring their adopted child home and a young mother about to make the biggest decision of her life—a story about love, faith, and what it really means to be a family.
Cole Blake, son of Landon and Ashley Baxter Blake, is months away from going off to college to kickstart the great plan he has been dreaming about for years—a career in medicine. But as he starts his final semester of school he meets Elise, a mysterious new girl who captures his attention—and heart—from day one.
Elise has her heart set on mending her wild ways and becoming the good girl she used to be. But not long after the semester starts, she discovers she’s pregnant. Eighteen and alone, she shares her secret with Cole. Undaunted by the news, and in love for the first time in his life, Cole is determined to support Elise—even if it means skipping college so he can marry her and raise another man’s baby.
When Elise decides to give the baby up for adoption, she is matched with Aaron and Lucy Williams, who moved to Bloomington, Indiana, in the hope of escaping the loss and emptiness that seven painful years of trying to start a family has brought them.
But as her due date draws near, Elise becomes more and more torn. She knows she has two weeks after the birth of her daughter to change her mind. With Cole keeping vigil and Lucy and Aaron waiting to welcome their new baby, Elise makes an unexpected decision—one that changes everyone’s plans.
Kingsbury (When We Were Young) follows the senior year of Cole Baxter Blake, the 18 year-old son of Landon and Ashley Baxter Blake, in this winsome inspirational drama. During his final semester, Cole falls head over heels for Elise Walker, a new student from Louisiana who moved to Indiana to escape an abusive boyfriend. But just as they are getting to know each other, Elise learns she is pregnant, so Cole vows to put his plans of studying to become a doctor on hold in order to help her. While Elise considers her options, she meets prospective adoptive parents Lucy and Aaron Williams. Lucy and Aaron, from nearby Bloomington, have suffered through years of infertility and are overjoyed to finally be welcoming a child. As the story builds predictably, Elise and Cole form deeper bonds over Elise's rediscovered relationship with God something she had abandoned before moving. Kingsbury does throw in an unexpected twist that puts everyone's faith and fortitude to the test, though it unsurprisingly brings out the best of everyone in the end. Kingsbury doesn't stray from her signature style of creating scenes charged with emotion and characters that sparkle as paragons of virtue. Her fans will love this uplifting romance.