Thursday, April 1, 2010

Book Review: An Absence so Great

Have you ever arrived late to class and never been able to catch-up on what you missed?

Have you ever walked up to two friends engaged in conversation and felt incredibly awkward trying to join in?

Have you ever missed a day of work and returned only to find all new policies put in place?

Have you ever ... okay, I've made my point.

When An Absence so Great arrived for review, I was delighted. It's historical fiction. It's Christian lit. It has a great cover. But it is also a sequel. Now sequels aren't always difficult to read, and sometimes they're just fine as stand-alone books. Like the late arrival to class or the in-progress conversation, I found Absence to be a challenge.

The characters are sympathetic and the themes are atypical for a lot of historical chick lit. In this novel we find divorce, May-December romance, and independent women struggling as business owners. I appreciate Jane Kirkpatrick's willingness to step away from predictable scenarios and conclusions.

My very smart friend, Jill of the quilted pictures, was more gracious about the slow rhythm of Absence. She enjoyed the author's artistic interpretions of real photos included in the book and the manner in which the author's grandmother's life was depicted. Alas, Jill said this isn't a book she would tell a friend they had to read and I find that this, like many other things, is something I'm inclined to agree with with her on.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, and I wonder if they'll ever send me another after this review!