Monday, June 13, 2011

Chasing Sunsets

Ah, Christian romance.  I haven't read one in a while.  I've been very hesitant to, actually.  I decided to read a new one coming out titled Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson

Storyline:  Kim has two boys, 10 and 14 years old.  She and her husband, Charlie, divorced a year ago.  Her dad convinces her to go to Cedar Key for a vacation while her ex-husband has her boys during the summer.  There she begins to process her family's past and her present.  She meets up with her first love, Steven.  The story is about her facing the truth and coming through the fire.

Writing:  This story is written well and Ms. Everson is very descriptive of the setting and characters.

Plot:  The plot is developed slowly and well.  It is set in the present, though the main character is surprisingly technology free. 

I feel like writing a review like they do on Focus on the Family's website Plugged-in.  I've included the positive parts.  Now, I want to explain the sexual content and negative parts.

Sexual Content is a funny word to use in regard to Christian books, so perhaps I should use a different phrase like "Romantic Elements".

This book centers on the ending, healing, and beginning of romantic relationships.  So, it is understandable that there would be some mention of physical intimacy.  Now, this book doesn't go as far as Amy Inspired, a book I reviewed some months ago--and don't recommend at all.  But, I wish there weren't as many mentions of Kim and Steven kissing and how attracted they were to each other.  Those passages made the book seem more like a Harlequin Romance than a Christian fiction book, though I'm sure they weren't as graphic as Harlequin books probably are. 

There is one negative aspect to the book that didn't sit well with me.  I discussed it with my mom.  It didn't strike her the way it did me, but I know that I am particularly concerned about nuances in language and wording.  There is a scene on pg. 366 when Kim says "we both deserve to be happy again, however we choose to find that happiness...just because we're parents doesn't mean we've stopped being human."  I believe that what we write reflects what we think.  The word "deserve" sets off a huge alarm in my head.  We live in an age where divorce is so prevalent.  When I was first married, the Lord convicted me that if I began thinking about how I "deserved" to be treated or "deserved" to feel, then I would be headed down a very slippery slope.  The Bible talks about joy and God promises to give us hope (Jer. 28:13), but there is no promise that we have a right to or that we deserve to be happy.  This assumption is at the core of this story and I think it's a very deceptive, and even dangerous belief. 

This book is a well written, enjoyable story.  It will draw you in and let you escape for a few hours.  I know I'm picky about the messages that fiction impress upon us.  I think that being aware of them helps us filter them out and that is my hope in writing what I have about the romantic and negative aspects of this book. 

Please note that I was given a complimentary copy of this book for review by Revell Publishing.

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