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Reviewed by Tina Gibbons for Readers' Favorite
In To Have and To Hold, Trae Stratton introduces readers to the MacLann family. It is ultimately a love story, centered on Colin MacLann's wedding day, but it is also about growing up in a New York City suburb before the digital era. Colin, considered the lucky one, appears to have everything going for him, but he has a lot of growing up to do and some serious self discoveries to make before the fateful event the story is working its way towards. Flashbacks and memories are contributed from most of the participants of the big day, building a foundation, letting you get to know all the characters, and leading up to the happy moment when the bride walks down the aisle. Colin has several girlfriends along the way, moving in and out of his life at different times for different reasons. Who will be under the veil?
I was engrossed with To Have and To Hold. Trae Stratton did a wonderful job with this family saga. The author brilliantly used small sections from different characters' viewpoints which helped me connect with all of the MacLanns. I loved the entire family. Significant moments of their pasts were brought to life in such a raw and compelling way that it caused me to respect, sympathize, admire, and just plain adore so many of them. The story flowed effortlessly, consistently leading me where I needed to be. There were so many well developed, real characters and I was so involved with their tales that I didn't want to put the book down. Profound emotions moved me to tears as I approached its conclusion. By the time I finished it, I felt as though I could have been part of their story, right there in that church to finally witness the wedding.