This week's book reviews came from a grab bag of fiction selections that Waterbrook Multnomah is offering at a low low price for Spring Break reading. You can find a multitude of great titles, including the two I received here.
Beneath a Southern Sky by Deborah Raney was the kind of entertaining fiction that you just can't put down. I started it late one evening and didn't go to sleep until I was finished with it. It was full of emotion, heart ache and plenty of relationships and drama. However, many of the characters also suffered from a lack of depth, a waining faith that was never truly addressed and much of the story followed highly anticipated twists and turns which left a lot of room for disappointment.
As the main character Daria wrestles through the loss of her husband, the decision to remarry, and then the sudden return of her first husband you are taken along in her emotions and anxious to know what happens next and how exactly it will all be resolved, which is why I just couldn't put it down. At the same time it is frustrating to witness the characters making one bad decision after another and continually turning from the voice of God. That issue is never completely resolved in the story, but merely glossed over with a quick mention.
If you're looking for an entertaining story with drama, tears, and emotion than this is a fabulous book to keep you busy on a rainy Spring Break afternoon. If you're looking for depth of character, a solid and realistic storyline, or an example of faith and dependence on God than I would recommend you skip this one.
I also received the second of the Northern Lights series by Lisa Tawn Bergren, Deep Harbor. My first recommendation if you are going to read this book is that you read the series in order. While the book was capable of standing alone, it would have been much more enticing from the start if it hadn't taken me three chapters to sort out all of the characters and figure out how they were all connected to one another.
With that being said, this book was full of characters whose stories, situations and experiences reached out and captured your attention. There was a deep sense of humanity and reality in the story lines of each unique character. There was an acknowledgment of past mistakes and of the lack of direction and wise choices that befell many of the characters as they had previously turned from God. It seems that there were many resolutions of situations that had begun in book one. But there were equally as many unresolved situations that developed leaving space and anticipation for book three.
**These books were provided to me for review by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.**