FYI: there are spoilers but I am not recommending this read unless you really like soap opera and Christian-y (only slightly) type books.
This was my first time to read anything by Katherine Y'Barbo. At first, I enjoyed her literary style but as I read on, I began to find holes. The story about Charlotte and Alex is solid in and of itself. However, I began to feel like I was reading the script of a soap opera.
This book is classified as Christian fiction yet there was very little mention of God and faith except in the last one hundred pages. Where faith is mentioned is brief, lacking depth, and corny. I do appreciate that overall the book was morally clean and free of inappropriate language. I find it disturbing that Charlotte's faith isn't brought up until the last few chapters when she is suddenly humbled back to spirituality. I would have liked to see more of a spiritual journey happen throughout the novel rather than "conveniently" at the end to explain Charlotte's sudden change of heart towards accepting her marriage.
I was frustrated with the courtship. Why didn't Alex "court" Charlotte? What happened to bringing a lady flowers and gifts or doing and saying those small things to win her heart once he decided he wanted to stay in their marriage? He thought she was beautiful and suspected he love her so why didn't he just tell her?
The author took Charlotte's stubborn tendancies to the extreme. I was almost ready to throw in the towel and be done with this character. I thought the book could have been little shorter; Charlotte's unwillingness to even consider the marriage was too much added in with all the "incovenient meetings" of the characters to prove how right for each they were yet how far apart from excepting each other they were.
I also would have liked to see more character development of the step-mother and her side of things. Why even put her in? She was like a movie extra. The father was like one of those super power, know-it-all, all powerful, know-everyone-and-everything-can-be-everywhere-all- the-time characters that is simple not reality and just added to the soap opera feel of the book. He reminded me of Victor on The Young and the Restless...always gets his way by miraculously controlling every aspect of everyone's life, even his acquantances.
The bottom line is the story and plot were a great idea but the writing is cinematic rather than novelesk. I found it sub-par. I will not personally seek to read another one of Y'Barbo's books nor recommend this to my friends unless they are superbly bored or perhaps they happen to like this style of book. To each his own.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
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