Melissa Tagg. All This Time. Middletown, DE: Larkspur Press, 2017.
Sadly, Melissa Tagg’s much-loved Walker Family series ends with her release of All This Time. I’ve become a huge fan of Ms. Tagg’s work over the last several years, as she brings a thoughtful and ever-optimistic voice to her contemporary fiction.
All This Time focuses on the youngest Walker sibling, Raegan, and her journey into adulthood. The local townsfolk of Maple Valley have come to expect Raegan to always fill the town’s part time jobs, whether at the pool, library, or anywhere else she’s needed. Her dreams of being an artist were dashed in the midst of helping her family after her mother’s death. However, she receives a second chance to live out her dream when she is chosen as the town’s artist for a national show that comes to the area. In the midst of Raegan reimagining her career as an artist, her long-time crush and good friend, Bear McKinley, returns to Maple Valley with his niece and nephew in tow. After his brother and sister-in-law disappear, Bear finds himself responsible for the two children, leading him to the one place he ever felt at home. Together, Bear and Raegan discover how to face their fears and once again dream of the lives that they once put away to help others.
Fans of Ms. Tagg’s Walker Family series will be absolutely thrilled with this final novel. The entire Walker family returns to Maple Valley to support Raegan and her memorable debut.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading All This Time! Ms. Tagg brings her unique flair and approachable writing style to this novel about overcoming one’s fears and embracing one’s God-given dreams. Raegan receives a fitting story for her quirky personality and long-time crush on Bear, even as Ms. Tagg shows an impressive amount of maturity and depth in Raegan and the rest of her cast of characters. Half the fun of Ms. Tagg’s novels, including All This Time, comes through her online commentary (Facebook) about her writing process and love for her own characters. I would definitely recommend that fans of her books check out her blog and Facebook feeds to find out more about the behind-the-scenes work on her novels, as they will discover a surprising number of enjoyable hints and quirky plot points that make it into her final versions. With this book marking the end of the Walker Family series, I am very interested to see what Ms. Tagg decides to write next, whether as a stand-alone novel or series.
Fans of Ms. Tagg’s other novels, especially the Walker Family series, will absolutely want to read All This Time. Readers who enjoy light-hearted, contemporary Christian fiction, such as written by Becky Wade and Susan May Warren, will also want to read this delightful book.
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