Within This Circle

Sunday, May 31, 2009

From my living room window I look out over my rolling farm, as the good cedar logs are crackling on the fire and my eight-month-old baby sits in his high chair. . . Oh wait, that's not my life, that's Christmas in Connecticut (good movie by the way, you should check it out). In reality, as I write this I am dodging the Nutrageous candy bar that's flying towards my head (long story) while watching Season 3 of Dallas.

Today's book, "After a tumultuous courtship, John and Julia Brighton have a second chance at happiness! With tragedy behind them and their children grown, they're looking forward to a new and promising era in their lives. Only such a promise is never guaranteed. And life can change in a moment. The Brightons' lives are turned upside down when John's daughter Jana abandons her husband, Mark, and three-year-old daughter. John and Julia reach out to young Ellie, to give the young couple time to heal, but how they help this child? And how much sorrow and stress can both fledgling marriages endure?"
Shallow thoughts:
  • I got to page 137 of today's book before I flipped to the back cover and realized that it's Christian fiction. This book was not in the Christian section of the bookstore when I bought it - it was just mixed in with the regular fiction. Normally I avoid Christian fiction because I find the people in those books so perfect that I can't relate to them in any way. But this book seemed to be an exception to that, so perhaps I've been too quick to judge that genre. Which is not to say that this book was exceptionally well-written, because it wasn't. The writing style was one step above Danielle Steel - but I appreciate the fact that the characters weren't so schmaltzy that I want to gag. I've actually never read a Christian fiction book that was so subtle with the religious talk - it's barely even mentioned until about page 170 and at that point the characters occasionally start praying in the middle of conversations, but that's about the extent of it.

  • The basic story was interesting - but I wasn't crazy about the writing style. The biggest problem I had was the way the author would explain the obvious - which always make me feel like the author thinks her readers are stupid. I'll give you an example, at one point in the book one of the characters is worried that she might run out of food due to bad weather while in the cabin she's staying in, and the author feels the need to remind us that ". . . she didn't relish the thought of starving to death." Is that supposed to be some sort of startling revelation to the readers? Am I suppose to read that part and think Amazing, a person who doesn't enjoy the thought of starving to death. I've heard people like that exist but I've never actually met one.