As with all Crawford's stories, they revolve around a close group of family and friends whose lives are interlinked and occasionally blessed with romance. Also, like most of her stories, the characters are either physically disabled or have issues with mental health. This has always been one of the things that has drawn me to her writing and to her characters. They are invariably good, honest human beings but flawed, yet Crawford allows us to see past the exterior and catch a glimpse of the magic of romance and love.
This was definitely the case in The Power of Will. William Kordes, by all conventional wisdom, had it all. He was rich, successful and had made his money from his own creativity and inventions. From the outside, his life was perfect, but inside it was a totally different story. Inside, Will was the still the shy, introverted young nerd who was bullied at school and considered unteachable by many of his instructors. His lack of confidence in himself he managed to shad in the facade of success but it was never far below the surface waiting to pounce and drag him down. Mariam Fischer was fighting an internal battle herself, but this one was with a degenerating body. Suffering from the incredibly painful and barely understood affliction of Fibromyalgia, Mariam was in pain constantly and although she projected as a beautiful, strong, self-assured woman, her disability was invisible to others and few could understand the pain and stress of simple everyday life for her.
When Will and Mariam meet, the attraction was instant but the signs were not good. Mariam was not taken in by his good looks, his charm, or his success. She basically told him to "take a hike" but thankfully it takes more than that to stop Will from "trying to fix things".
This was a wonderfully sweet and bittersweet romance that reminds us we all have to be grateful for everything we have. There is always someone worse off than us. Crawford's style is unpretentious, uncluttered, simple and most of all "clean". If you love romance, if you love "real" characters with problems, you'll love this story.
It's another absolute winner from Crawford's prolific portfolio and one I highly recommend.