Review: If You Stay by Barbara Meyers

☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

At 18, Joy Laurence took off with the local bad boy who left her widowed, broke and pregnant. Back then her formidable minister father hung up on her when she needed help. Now that she’s come home? He slams the door in her face. But for her adult daughter’s sake, she is determined to make peace with her family.

Although romance isn’t even on her radar, Joy can’t resist troubled and talented Granger Sullivan’s rough edges and skilled hands. And in his rebellious teenage daughter she sees her own reflection. 

Joy’s excitement dies when reconnecting with her past results not only in broken hearts, but broken lives. Including hers.

She could admit defeat and walk away a second time. But if she stays, can she find a way to reconcile with her loved ones and build the life she wants?




My Thoughts:

Oh my!  Such gorgeous writing!  Author Barbara Meyer hooked me from the first paragraph with her impressive writing, and her characters and storyline kept me glued to my seat reading.

If You Stay is the story of returning home and starting again.  Joy returns to Iowa mostly to reconnect with her daughter, but the move also gives her the opportunity to reconnect with her parents.  Joy is a not-so-prodigal daughter returned and trying to make good.  In the process, she meets Granger and his daughter Cassie.  Granger presents an opportunity for some romance to be built into the story as well as to expand the storyline beyond Joy’s immediate family.  Additionally, Granger and Cassie have their own familial issues which add complexity to the story.

If You Stay is a true family drama.  It is a story of love and forgiveness.  The plot is straightforward, realistic, and well paced.  Ms. Meyers makes the parent-child struggles easy to relate to and sympathize with.  There are strong messages of acceptance and forgiveness, and I loved the denouement (which I won’t give away with further discussion) that represented the give and take of every relationship.  

If You Stay is a beautifully written story with universal messages.  Relatable characters and issues make this family drama easy to recommend.

About the Author: A few of my favorite things: My family and my dear, dear friends; 
My addictions/vices: Books; wine…white zin or pinot grigio; coffee…an every morning must have; popcorn
What I do when I’m not writing: I read or I might be working at the local Starbucks, hanging out with the above-referenced friends and family; bicycling around my neighborhood; taking a nap.
I’m originally from Southwest Missouri, but I grew up in a bunch of tiny towns in Illinois and Idaho before I arrived in Florida where I currently reside. Want to know more about me? Read my blogs which you can access through my web site:

© Copyright 2022 Book Junkie Reviews. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: