What Happens Next by Christina Suzann Nelson

Publisher‎Bethany House Publishers (January 17, 2023)
Paperback‎352 pages



Product Description

“An uplifting story of faith, hope, and healing.”–Booklist

“Everyone has a story, and maybe everyone needs a little help toward healing.”

Popular podcaster and ex-reporter Faith Byrne made a name for herself telling stories of greatness after tragedy–but her real life does not mirror the stories she tells. While her daughters spend the summer in Hawaii with her ex-husband and his new wife, she must manage life on her own. All of that changes when she’s asked to spotlight her childhood best friend’s missing person case on her podcast.

Dora Crane has never accepted that her younger daughter could be dead, keeping her home looking the same as when her daughter disappeared. But when her husband leaves her and her older daughter intervenes, she agrees to counseling and to pack up her missing daughter’s belongings under one condition: Faith Byrne comes to Deep Valley and sheds light on the cold case.

As the long-abandoned investigation moves forward, old wounds and long-buried secrets are exposed. Will these two women, whose lives have never been the same, finally get the answers they need to reconcile the past and the future?

“This heartbreaking story will keep you guessing–and hoping–with the turn of every redemptive page.”–ERIN BARTELS, award-winning author of The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water


When I saw the beautiful and intriguing cover of What Happens Next by Christina Suzann Nelson, I knew I had to have it. I love choosing books by their beautiful cover, and I picked a winner with this one.

What Happen Next is told through the eyes of Dora: Heather’s mom, Heather: Dora’s daughter and Faith: Heather’s best friend. Faith and Heather were pretty much inseparable in the summer of 1987, and after Faith’s family moves in with her grandma. When the summer was about over, Faith’s family moved, she and Heather did not communicate anymore.

Being a Podcaster in her adult life brought a familiar person into Faith’s life one day, Heather’s sister, asking Faith to shed light about her sisters disappearance decades ago. No one told Faith, so of course she was very shocked. She struggled much with the decision, but decided to do her part and help find her best friend.

Wow! What a story! Probably halfway through the book, Nelson drops a hint that gave me the jitters, and I couldn’t put the book down after that. Dora and her family have been grieving Heather’s disappearance all this time. Dora was turning her family away because she couldn’t stop grieving the loss of her daughter. Could she still be alive? So many questions. And not one answer. I don’t go to the end of books to get answers, so I had to speed read the last half of the book, I was having a fit to know what happened. So I’ll read this book again, here very soon, much slower so I don’t miss anything. It is too good not to give it another try. This was my first book by Christina Suzann Nelson, and boy, am I glad I chose it to review. Nelson’s writing is phenomenal. She is able to capture true feelings of the wonderful characters she created. The story has such a realistic feeling, and the characters are spot on. Nelson does a fantastic job of going from the excitement of the 1987 summer to the excruciating grief in Dora, to the sadness, to the disappointments, and to the acceptance and peace in the characters. Emotions were running every which way in this wonderful story. I felt like this was real family and friends I was reading about. I enjoyed the subtle touch of romance between Nate and Faith, which gave a warm, loving feeling. This is a book you dont want to miss. It’s Christian fiction, so it’s clean. Check out What Happens Next by Christina Suzann Nelson, you will be very glad you did! What Happen Next is getting Five plus stars from me. I’d love to give it more.

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


Christina Suzann Nelson in an inspirational speaker and the award-winning author. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, was honored as one of Library Journal’s top five inspirational novels of 2017.

In 2017, Christina was named the OCW Cascade’s Writer of Promise and received a Cascade award for her novel, Swimming in the Deep End.

Her stories have been published in the Cup of Comfort for a Better World, Cup of Comfort for Adoptive Families, as well as other publications.

Christina is over the top about her passions, including the stories created somewhere in the twists and turns of her less-than-focused brain. When she’s not writing, Christina serves on the board of the non-profit, Every Child Linn-Benton, where she has the opportunity to influence the lives of families and children in the foster care system.

On a typical day, she chases escaped farm animals, reads, hikes with her dog, and enjoys her husband and six kids.

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