Books Of Note – Fade To Blue

I realize I’ve been stacking up a few novels I’ve wanted to review, and it’s time to rectify that.

Contemporary Christian women's fiction

Today’s novel is Fade To Blue by Julie Carobini (B&H Publishing).

The Story.
After Suz’s husband divorces her, she and her son Jeremiah retreat to her brother’s central California coastal home where she wants to recoup and start again.

Little does she know what this move will bring, but as the pieces of her new life begin to sort themselves out, her ex-husband makes contact, tells her how he’s a different person after a stint in prison, and makes plans to be involved in their son’s life, if not in hers as well.

Suz wants to support her ex-husband’s fledgling faith and wants to do what’s right in God’s eyes regarding her family, but she’s also got a new job, new friends, and an old flame to deal with. On top of everything, her brother has some strong opinions about what she should do.

Strengths.
Lest I forget, let me mention first, the setting of this story is rich. Julie Carobini has obviously done her homework, injecting appropriate details about Hearst Castle where a part of this story takes place. These particulars make the story more believable and help to pull the reader into “the fictive dream.”

In addition, Julie is adept at creating believable characters that I care about. Suz Mitchell is another in the growing cast. She is vulnerable because of the circumstances her ex-husband has put her through, but she is nobody’s victim. She has a plan for her life and the drive to get started.

At the same time, she struggles with guilt, the desire to do her job well, to fit in with her co-workers, respond to the whispers at church about her divorce, honor her brother, find a way to get out on her own as soon as possible. And then there is Seth, the man from her past. In other words, this character is a complex, realistic person.

The story is not action drive in the sense that adventure or romance fills every page. But in a quieter way, it is nonetheless a page turner because Julie created intrigue. Various characters have something they’re holding back, something that motivates their actions and keeps the outcome in doubt.

The “second chances” theme is woven throughout the story, and because of the way things work out in the end, the issue is not cut and dried. In other words, Julie gave thoughtful attention to the fact that second chances don’t necessarily end well.

Weaknesses.
I don’t remember specifics, but I recall thinking that there were some uneven places in the writing — perhaps suffering from a demanding deadline. I suspect most readers won’t think twice about writerly distractions.

Recommendation.
This is an enjoyable piece of women’s fiction. Yes, there is some romance, but I wouldn’t characterize this story in that genre. It’s primarily for Christians — some of the key internal conflicts are ones only Christians experience. Consequently, I highly recommend this one for any reader who enjoys Christian women’s fiction.

Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm  Comments Off on Books Of Note – Fade To Blue  
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