This book focuses on Brad and Ashley Hanes, young newlyweds who are facing their first season of winter. Opposite work schedules, differing views on finances and when to start a family, and Brad’s selfish and immature habits are forcing the young couple apart, causing them to question why they ever got married in the first place. It will take a whole lot of help—mostly from their nosy but well-meaning neighbors—for Ashley and Brad to pull their marriage out of the winter blues and into a hopeful spring. As usual, the residents of Deepwater Cove will pop in and out of the story to delight readers. They’ll encounter Cody and see his continued independence and growing friendship with Jennifer; Patsy and Pete’s escalating romance; and Charlie, a recent widower who is taking on the challenges and excitement of his golden years with zeal.
The series is based on the marriage principles found in Gary Chapman’s non-fiction book The Four Seasons of Marriage. Similar in tone and light-hearted, quirky humor as Jan Karon’s Mitford series, Fannie Flagg’s books or Steel Magnolias. Each book has a study guide that talks about the four seasons of marriage and the healing strategies depicted in that volume’s story.
What happens when authors use fiction to explore self-help principles? Chapman, the relationship expert whose juggernaut The Five Love Languages has sold more than five million copies, teams up with novelist Palmer for a series that intentionally dovetails with Chapman's nonfiction book The Four Seasons of Marriage. This lackluster concluding installment explores the "spring" season of marriage by profiling fictional newlyweds Brad and Ashley Hanes, whose marriage is not turning out to be as idyllic as either had expected. Can God transform the winter of their discontent into a spring of mutual appreciation and rekindled love? Yes, and there are sweet moments along the way. Still, the novel feels contrived despite Palmer's competent writing and characterizations.