©2005 Lynn Austin; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC
"[A] brilliant novel about love, forgiveness, suffering, and the importance of resisting the temptation to run away when things get tough." (Christian Book Previews.com)
I record audiobooks for Librivox.
I'm still not sure what the theme of this book is. Austin seems to make it about the relationship between characters but the story is told in a disjointed fashion. Kathleen and her daughter's story was resolved in far too pat a ending and the insertion of a murder mystery was rather ill advised. Eleanor, Kathleen's mother was a terrible parent although you understand the source of her bitterness. Nevertheless, to see her go from strong and fun loving to weak and bitter because of a man was disturbing. Fiona, Kathleen's grandmothe, was more exciting but once again the reader is left with a morally weak woman who has two long affairs with married men without considering the effect on anybody but herself. Austin certainly does not excuse such behavior but Fiona self pitying attitude was annoying. You want Fiona to actually do something with her life.
No. It is aimed a a specific audience. Even though I am far from that particular demographic, I suppose this story has a place among its intended listeners. It's definitely not aimed at me, though.
The whole idea that one is only forgiven by grace is, in a word, selfish. If one really wanted to be forgiven for transgressions against others, shouldn't one really seek out the aggrieved party and ask for forgiveness from that person? Asking "forgiveness" from god doesn't repair anything with the person you have wronged. The characters could find strength in themselves and their own being--they don't need to "find god" to do this. Frankly, it made the entire story rather unbelievable. You don't become a better person by "finding god." You become a better person by acting better. That should have been the focus of this story.
I really wanted to like this book. It started out well and sounded like it was turning into a mystery novel, which would have been kind of cool. Every time, though that I heard mention of "forgiveness from Jesus," it cemented in my mind the possibility that it would turn into a proselytizing piece. Alas, that's exactly what it ended up being. I guess that's not necessarily a bad thing, but if so, why not express that in the description of the story? Honestly, I would not have purchased it if I had known this piece.
Suzanne, avid reader and listener who loves a broad range of genres but, ecpecially authors,T.C. Boyle, Jodi Picoult, Barbara Kingsolver, Lionel Shriver, Sue Miller, Larry McMurty, Bryce Courteran, Lisa Gardner, Brian Haig, Richard North Patterson, Nelson Demille, Robert Tannenbaum, Sara Gruen, Kate Norton, Steig Larsen, Tana French and Gillian Flynn!! Still many more and the number of authors I enjoy continues to grow.
I would have enjoyed this book much more if there were not the constant insertions about faith and Christianity. I think Austin is a competent and at times, compelling writer but, her religious beliefs were too distracting.
I can enjoy some inspirational themes but this was way too much and too born again for my liking.
Partly, this was my own mistake. I bought this book not noticing that it was categorized under "Religious & Inspirational," but when I figured it out I thought I'd give it a chance anyway. After all, the plot sounded interesting enough to make me buy it. I'm not Christian, but I'm not opposed to listening to a book with a Christian main character who finds solace in her faith.However, the moralistic judgments just kept coming, and all the non-Christian characters made me wonder if the author had ever actually met someone who wasn't Christian. They seemed like caricatures of themselves. They were all bad people with sad lives, and the Christian characters were so happy and full! Also, the constant mentions of Jesus got really old really fast. In the end, I was rolling my eyes every 30 seconds and getting really angry at the assumptions the author kept making, and had to abandon the book a few hours in.So as for who might like this book ... I guess the judgmental type of Christian, people who want their narrow worldview reaffirmed.
No. She was overly dramatic and overly emotional.
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