Monday, June 11, 2018

Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg

Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Keep Holding On is a perfect Autumn read, best accompanied by some apple pie or a warm mug of cider.

Beckett Walker has always followed his impulses, and they had served him well thus far - from running away six years ago to this trip back to Maple Valley - but he may have been wrong this time.

Kit Danby never quite got over losing her best friend, but seeing him in the flesh after all this time was vastly more jarring than she had anticipated. Can she risk spending her days with him to save the only home she's ever known?


While her characters are fantastically developed, I wish there was slightly better character descriptions throughout Melissa's books. You can always get some inkling of what the characters look like and the feel of them (eye color, hair color, and some vague descriptions of stature), but I find it difficult to really picture them with one another. Besides that one aspect, Beckett, Kit, and the other supporting characters are really well done. Very down-to-earth people with real problems who mature throughout the story, learning lessons that we all could stand to remember. I love that throughout the book they grow as individuals and learn to depend on God first, then allow the romance and kinship to follow.

My Character Inspirations

Baby Eric Bana as Beckett Walker
Teresa Palmer as Katherine "Kit" Danby


Beckett and Kit have a wonderful love story. Childhood best friends whose relationship ended tumultuously, Beckett and Kit are forced together to save the orchard she loves and serve out his long awaited sentence. Their circumstances make for a wonderfully interesting story that had me laughing, crying, and reevaluating how God leads us and speaks to us.


While most of the story takes place in contemporary Maple Valley, Iowa, you also get to travel to Chicago, Illinois, Boston, Massachusetts, and Monterey County, California. The gorgeous scene descriptions really transport you to these picturesque places.


A couple grammatical errors do not overshadow the fun and quirky writing. Melissa Tagg has a wonderful way of making characters real, lovable, and just eccentric enough to grab your heart. In this book, you'll get to see both her love for baby goats and Classic Movies shine through and some of her characters. While she handles a couple of somewhat heavier topics, the feel of the book is very light and uplifting.


God's faithfulness is beautifully demonstrated thoughout Keep Holding On. Emphasised by the characters' penchant to run from situations, this theme can really be a great reminder if His faithfulness in our doubt, fear, or faithlessness, but the story also encourages us to press into the things God has for us, especially through Kit's grandmother's recipe card, Hebrews 10:23. "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."


"Sometimes God Whispers. Sometimes he shouts. He doesn't always communicate the same way twice, and frankly, sometimes we're going to get it wrong. But part of faith is embracing the mystery - all the while knowing that even when we're confused, God is faithful. He's trustworthy."

"Could she still called God trustworthy and faithful if life and people and circumstances let her down?"

"That's the beauty of God, my girl. Even when we're tempted to let go, he keeps holding on."

"Today was holding on. To courage in the midst of fear. To faith in the midst of uncertainty. To a father's love he knew had never once wavered. 'I love you Dad.'"

"But real trust, real belief - it wasn't about what she hoped for... but who she placed her hope in. A faithful God. A God who never promised perfect circumstances, but who did promise his love. She may doubt from time to time, but that was where Willa's assurance came in: When she felt like letting go, God held on."

My Thoughts

Beckett's may just be my favorite Walker Family book so far. Goodness gracious! All the feels when Beckett and Case talk in the Depot, and oh the letter! I loved the letter! "Don't hide it, Beckett, and don't fear it. Allow God to mold your passion, yes. But don't deny it. And when you feel lost, remember God's extraordinary love... His reckless love. That's your starting point and your finish line. That's your home. Hold on to it." Melissa is such a wonderful writer, I can't help but get lost in her stories. I'm always left feeling like my life has been enriched by the characters and their journeys.

I tend to be a very passionate person, and I see so much of myself in Beckett's character. I'm impulsive, rash, and I don't always think of the ramifications, but the flip side if that is a deep passion that God gave me and has intended for His purposes. Each aspect of our personalities fascinates me because of its duality. We have the purpose that God intended versus the natural inclination of our flesh. These rival instincts, constantly warring against one another are the basis of our temptations. I struggle a lot with sins of passion (anger, lust, etc.) while while people with different personalities combat different vices for the most part. 

The flip side if that is that when my thoughts, desires, and disciplines are aligned with God's design, I am so deeply in love with my Lord and Savior, that I simply can't contain the love and joy that he has put in me to the point of overflowing. I know that through that passion, God's purpose for my life will be fulfilled, whether it's witnessing through my affection for my husband, my sometimes overwhelming empathic nature, or my my love of wholesome books via this blog, I was created to share my passion. I pray that you will see God's hand in the aspects and quirks that make you uniquely who you are. You are so special and precious, and He has an amazing plan for you.


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