Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sometimes it's better the second time around

Last year, I read a book titled Chasing Sunsets by Eva Marie Everson.  My review is here.  I was impressed that the author would engage with me about her book and discuss my concerns about the content of her book. She brought out points that I hadn't considered as I was reading and reviewing the book.  After the discussion, my mind had not changed about her book (though I definitely understood her points), but I did want to read the second book in the series.

A few weeks ago, the second book in Ms. Everson's Cedar Keys series arrived.  Waiting for Sunrise.  I was excited to see what it held in store for me.  It was a huge improvement over the first book in the series for me.  My concerns with the first book centered primarily on some of the language she used to describe the relationship between the main characters.  It went much more into the realm of Harlequin romances than I think is wise for Christian fiction.  This second book didn't go there at all and I am so glad!  I really liked it.  The story and writing are interesting and keep you engaged.

This story centers on a young woman, Patsy, and her life as a teenager, young woman, and then mother and wife.  There is a great deal of pain in this woman's life that is dealt with and not glossed over in the story.  Alongside this story, the story of her mother and brother Billy continues to be told.

As I finished the book, I was struck by several thoughts.  Often when I read Christian fiction novels, it feels as if the relationships between men and women are idealized and unrealistic.  But, over the past two years, I've had the opportunity to watch my mentor's husband love her well as her body quickly succumbed to Alzheimer's.  He loved her well--he loved her the way Gilbert loves Patsy in this story.  Not every marriage is like this one and I'd even daresay that not many are, but there are some.  I have been blessed to watch my friend's husband love her so well and stand by her.  The way he has lived his life has been such a witness to me about what it really means to love one's spouse well.  If you read this novel, I hope you will feel that challenge as well as I have.  If your spouse were in Patsy's shoes, or maybe they are already in them, can you love him or her for better or for worse?

I was also struck by Patsy's feelings towards motherhood and her mother's experiences.  This story reminded me of my firm resolve to love my children well and protect them if anyone tries to harm them.  There are times when I want to check out because I'm tired, but somehow this book reminded me of how important it is not to check out.  

Would I recommend this book?  Definitely.  Will it be an easy read?  It's a like a drama movie, so there is some heartache and pain in the course of the story.  But, it also has a good ending rest assured.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell books for review.

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