In this Bridges of Madison County for teens, Michelle Zink weaves a magnetic tale about summer love that stays with you long after the seasons change. Rose Darrow never wanted to spend her life working on her family’s farm. But when her family is rocked by an unexpected tragedy she has no choice but to put her plans for the future—and dreams of escaping her small town—on hold. Bodhi Lowell left home as a kid and hasn’t looked back. Years of working farm jobs has given him the one thing he wants most: freedom to travel without answering to anyone. He’s already looking past his job at Darrow Farm and plans on leaving in September—until he meets Rose. Neither Rose nor Bodhi can deny the sparks flying between them, but with the end of summer looming, they must decide if it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all....
A Walk in the SunFeatured
In comes Bodhi. He left his broken home at a young age to wander the country taking temporary jobs, mostly on farms. He feels more at home in a barn than just about anywhere else. But, he also feels stuck, like it's time for a drastic change - a new adventure that will start at the end of the summer.
What he didn't count on was meeting someone he'd be willing to stay for. His love for her is a bit like insta-love, but it takes quite a while for either of them to admit their feelings and their entire relationship is overshadowed by a ticking clock. She knows he's leaving. He knows he's leaving. There can be no future, right? Not when Rose has a duty to her family.
Bodhi helps her work through the remaining threads of grief as she helps him move past the things that have happened to him. It's a relationship based on mutual support. The chemistry between them is well-done and Rose is the kind of character you root for with every ounce of your being. She's strong in the face of everything life has thrown her way. She's eighteen-years-old and having to make hard decisions about her future. Her loyalty to her family and the family business in endearing.
I liked Bodhi, but there's not as much of a connection there. That might be because things with Rose get more personal, but I didn't feel for him in the same way.
The true star of the show here is the setting. The author does a wonderful job of putting the reader in small town America and making them feel like part of the family. For those who've never lived on a farm, there's a romance about it that's taken apart here. Some scenes seemed idyllic, but the story paints it in a much more life-like fashion with hard work and commitment.
The story is very long and moves forward quite slowly, leaving the reader behind occasionally with it's seemingly inconsequential scenes, but it picks up in the right places and ends in an exciting fashion. I couldn't imagine a better conclusion that the one we were given. Happily-ever-afters are complicated and don't come without conflict, but at the end of the day, they are just about the sweetest thing in literature.
A Walk in the Sun is an enjoyable, sweet romance that highlights some of the harder parts of life with an adept skill, giving the reader plenty of awe worthy moments they can truly relate to.
First of all, I have to point out the setting. My gosh, I have never known such things about living in a very rural area/small town. It's nice to read the descriptions and it's even nicer to be taken to a whole other place.
Rose Darrow is a girl going through the motions. Nothing is ever the same after her mother's death, and her father is not coping well either. She is empty, cold, and different. Everything seems down and about until she meets Bodhi, who changes the entire dynamic of her home and her life. She lives again, and that is the main point of the story. To begin again and not just survive but also live. It is to believe that good things can happen again even after all the darkness.
And there is Bodhi Lowell. He is running from his past, and it is a terrible past at that. He's trying to escape, and he finds good in Rose Darrow. Though Rose is the more prominent character of the duo, I find Bodhi much more easier to empathize and understand. He is, at first, an outsider peering into Rose's life until he becomes a much larger part of it. Both characters change because of each other and their experiences, and they cling to each other. (So adorable those two characters are, by the way.)
The story unwinds slowly but steadily. The exposition provides a very nice opening to the book, and the tone of it is rather sorrowful (especially on Rose's end but also on Bodhi's). When the two characters meet, everything changes. It is as if a light has been switched on, and happiness, laughter, and all the good things in life comes into the book, and it's a glorious shift in tone to read. Though the two characters go through internal drama, family drama, drama stemming from romance, and drama because of grief, they are stronger because of it. They are hopeful. And the change is well-written and absolutely exciting to read.
The romance brings together two people who are lost in their own ways. One, in grief. The other, in escapism (by traveling frequently and never looking back but not quite settling in one place). The pair have great chemistry, and I swear that I smile at certain moments and scare other people because of it. ("Why are you smiling at a book?" Because my OTP is adorable. "Wait, what? What's an OTP?" One true pairing. "Huh?")
The ending is a perfect conclusion to not just the story, the romance, but also the individual character arcs. I can't end the book any better. This ending is so satisfying with all ends tied up and a HEA to boot.
Overall, A WALK IN THE SUN is a character-driven story that starts with melancholy and ends with the most important thing of all: hope. This is for anyone who loves a story of moving on but also never forgetting the ups and downs of life.
Rating: Three out of Five
I liked both main character equally, which was another plus for the book. There wasn’t a time in Rose’s POV that I was wishing I was in Bodhi’s, or vice versa. I thought they were both interesting people whose growth arcs as they worked to overcome the circumstances they’d been dealt. Rose has lost her mother recently and was doing her best to keep the farm running while her father struggled with his grief, which didn’t leave Rose time for her own feelings. Bodhi was trying to leave behind his deadbeat father and avoided putting down any kind of roots anywhere. They clashed straight away but slowly started to come to respect each other and open up to each other.
The book was set mostly during the summer but the romance between Rose and Bodhi never felt like a summer fling to me. Maybe it was because they both were so independent and focused on their jobs, both so serious. The romance was slow and I liked the development from co-workers to friends to romance. It was done in a realistic way.
The setting of the small town was great. I loved the sense of community everyone had, taking care of each other, knowing everyone’s business. The farm was a really good home base for the plot and I really appreciated all the mentions of the farm’s routines, how it ran, how hard the work was, how the workers were a family.
It didn’t take long to read and I got really absorbed into the story. It was a really good option for a less light summer-y read.