Annabelle, whom nearly everyone calls Anne, has been stuck in the past for two years. Numbed by grief over her husband's unexpected death and overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising their three young children alone, Anne agrees to let a friend take the kids for the weekend while she tries to get some much-needed rest at her parent's home.
But when Anne wakes up the next morning, she is suddenly sixteen again. And it just happens to be the worst day she spent as a teenager.
High school the second time around brings unforeseen changes and frustrations, but remembering that her future husband, Mitch, has just returned from a mission and is living on the other side of town gives Anne hope. Getting Mitch's attention (for the second time) is more complicated than she could have imagined, but Anne discovers she is stronger than she believed possible—and there just might be a future for her after all.
This is particularly apropos considering the story in A Way Back To You.
Top Ten things I wish I'd known at 16
Top Ten things I wish I'd known at 16
10 – You will actually use this (math, grammar, etc.) when you’re older. I wish I would have taken full advantage of my educational opportunities. Now it is very hard to continue my education, informal though it may be, with children and loads of other obligations.
9 – Your parents are just trying to help you. My parents didn’t impose limits and responsibilities on me as a form of punishment but because they were trying to help me. I wish I would have listened more.
8 – Parents need your help and appreciation. This goes with the number 8. I’ve been blessed with wonderfully helpful, considerate teenagers. It makes me look back at the way I treated my parents and cringe. I wasn’t horrible but I could have done so much more.
7 – Popularity isn’t everything. It sure can be nice but it’s true that those people who want you to be something you’re not in order for you to fit in – they are not worth it. Being true to who you are is more important than fitting in.
6 – Friends really do matter. Sometimes I hear parents tell their kids that their friendships aren’t important, that all the people you know in middle/high school will be gone from your life before you know it. While that’s true about those kids we discussed in number 7, true friends can last through your life. I’m still close to a number of people that I went to school with. Like sisters and our kids call us “Aunt” __________. Those friendships mean the world to me. I’m glad I got that one right.
5 – Classics are awesome. So many English classes ruin the classics by ripping them to shreds. I’ve gone back and read “required reading” books years later and discovered some of my greatest treasures. I wish I would have found them sooner.
4 – You are beautiful. You aren’t as fat as you think, as awkward as you think or as tongue-tied as you think. I wish I would have been able to see my real beauty earlier on. It would have made me a happier, more secure person to be around.
3 – Boys are people, too. The flip side is also true. As a teenager I thought of boys as these mystical creatures who sat up at night thinking up ways to torture me. I really couldn’t see that they were just as confused and adrift as I was. They spent more time worrying about what people thought of them than I realized.
2 – The things you love now will stay with you. I’m not just talking about the entertainment I loved, though that’s true, too. But the things I really loved like being a musician and writing and being a good friend – those are the things I still value. They have molded me as I have developed them.
1 – It gets better. Just because I feel one way today, doesn’t mean that’s how I’ll feel tomorrow. This was a huge struggle for me as a teenager. I thought that if I felt discouraged one day, things would stay awful. Everything felt so permanent and unchangeable. That made me feel hopeless at times. It wasn’t like I was horribly depressed or anything, it was just the way I thought. I wish I would have been able to see that life changes and that the troubles I experienced then would someday be nothing more than a distant memory, blanketed over by years of joy.
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