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Review: One Wrong Turn by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Author Deanna Lynn Sletten returns with an unforgettable novel about one man’s crisis of self and his greatest act of love.
The words “I’m her husband” roll off Clay Connors’s tongue, but with his estranged wife lying in a coma—and no assurance that she’ll awaken—he knows he’s perilously close to losing everything. A singular, terrifying accident has left Jess Connors suspended between life and death. Now Clay is reunited with the family he hasn’t seen for two years, including the daughters he left behind.

Clay should have been there for his family. He never should have stayed away so long. The alcohol that took over his life destroyed everything but a shred of his self-preservation. Sober and haunted, Clay revisits the memory of love, marriage, and how his life unraveled. He hopes that by trying to reconnect with the daughter who blames him and the daughter who barely knew him, he can find a light of hope in this darkest hour. As his family faces its most grueling, emotional test yet, Clay must summon the courage to make right what was wrong—and find forgiveness from his harshest judge: himself.


The novel opens up with Jess Connors, a single mom trying to do what all moms do, juggle a millions things on their plate and trying to do as much as you can. On her way to pick up her daughter, she decided to do a quick errand and found herself on the wrong side of luck when her vehicle on wet pavement went into a spin, leaving her unconscious. With her life uncertain, one thing for sure, the thought of it lost brought back the one person she never lost hope for, Clay. 

Never the fall in love with a guy from the band kind of gal, she fell in love with Clay. Clay had everything going for him until his life spiraled out of control leading his life in rehab unsuccessfully. Despite her love and devotion to him, she had to make an ultimatum which by his own choice left them estranged for the past two years. As a result, lost out on the lives of including that of their two daughters, Jilly and Maddie. 

Much has happened in the last two years, all of which Jess had started to rebuild her life. All of it uncertain, at the current moment in her state of a coma, Clay is brought back to the life he once knew but didn't know how to return to. Nothing can bring back the lost time but while he waits for his wife to wake up, Clay's mind goes into overdrive for his past mistakes, looking back on his marriage, his family and through courage and hope tries to amend his wrong with the hope that he will get a second chance with his family.

One Wrong Turn, was a beautiful second chance story. It dealt with such a common problem facing many families today. It's really hard when someone you love has an addiction because ultimately no matter how much you love them, you can't heal them, they have to take the step to heal themselves. Their relationship was really a testament of faith and not wanting to give up despite the hardships. What I loved about her was that even though they were apart, she never gave up on him even when he couldn't get it together. The strength that she had to take herself and protect her children was something that is admirable because many people wouldn't have the courage.

The story alternated between the current and chronicled their experience so we could learn their past which complimented the story. The best part about second chances is that especially within the parameters of this storyline of Jess being in coma, I love how when people are on the cusp of losing someone they love, it is through tragedy where they feel the depth of the love for a person to find the will to be the person that had struggled to be. The dynamics of the impact of his decision on children was authentic and really captured that innocent emotion of the depravity of the loss of love from a parent. This journey of Clay having to rebuild that with them really came together nicely in the book. Overall, I thought was an enjoyable read. I'd recommend.

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