The Center of the Storm by Ann Simko

Abandonment, neglect, drugs and a little blood letting. Dodge Landry and his fifteen-year-old son, Chris have a lot in common. But while Dodge only narrowly survived his childhood, Chris may not.

Navigating the murky waters of the foster care system in the mid-1970’s, Dodge hits the mother lode when he is sent to live with Kate Landry on her small Pennsylvania horse farm. Through her functionally dysfunctional family, and with the help of an abused mess of a horse named Storm, Kate shows Dodge no one needs to be perfect to be worthy of love. It is a lesson Dodge desperately wants to share with Chris. The problem is, Chris isn’t interested in listening and Dodge fears his adopted son is headed down the same road Dodge once walked

Chris is a tough one to break. He has his emotional guard up and even though he knows Dodge has been through similar events. He doesn't want to listen. He's not ready to listen.

A Story of a couple of troubled teens, one grown and matured. And one newly adopted, still hurting from a very troubled past. Flashbacks to Dodge's childhood, the one person and a horse that was able to break his hard outer shell enough to heal and from his past, and the desire to pass that on to his own son.

It's a novel that I would refer to as a Lifetime Movie story. It's nothing that I would mean in a negative way. A story that will break your heart, but make you smile and has a meaningful and heartening story at it's core. A feel-good type of story that focuses on struggles in life that make it all worth it.

Hard subjects like abuse, self harm and a lot of anger. This is not exactly a book you would go into looking for twists and turns and a big epiphany moment. It's a book you read when you want to feel things and get told a story of strength and love and renew your faith in the fact that some things deserve time, and effort, and hard work. Because it's worth it.