New York Times best-selling author Jodi Thomas introduces readers to her new series, Ransom Canyon, with an eponymous novel about four families struggling to hold it all together. Set against the beautiful, rugged landscape of a West Texas town, Ransom Canyon is a subtle, sweet start to a new small-town saga.
Rather than focus on a couple trying to make a romance work, Thomas deftly weaves multiple characters into the narrative of Ransom Canyon: a widower coping with the loss of his son; a lavender farmer helping her late best friend’s husband through his grief; a man recently released from prison who finds acceptance from the residents at a local retirement community; a young girl trying to navigate life and the pangs of first love, despite her sheriff father’s overprotection; a teenage boy longing to shake his humble roots with a fresh start in college. All call Ransom Canyon home as they struggle to make sense of loss and love. Each of these characters is compelling; their emotions and actions are as realistic as the setting Thomas paints. Regardless of where each character is in life, some experiences are universal, like redemption and first love.
The setting of Ransom Canyon, though, is a character in and of itself. Watching the characters interact with the setting, the ranches and the animals is on par with seeing them interact with one another. With great, easy pacing, readers won’t realize that they have fallen in love with the charming Ransom Canyon until the very last page.
Thomas could make a city girl hang up her pumps for a pair of boots with her descriptions of clear, blue skies and dusk-red dirt. Each characters’ journey is worthy of a happy ending, and it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite. Fans will anxiously await the next book in the series because, like meeting with old friends, catching up with the characters of Ransom Canyon can’t come soon enough.