Friday, May 5, 2017

Book Review: Trusting Grace

Trusting Grace. Maggie Brendan. 2017. Revell. 326 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Grace Bidwell pushed her way through the busy mercantile store in the bustling town of Bozeman, certain that it would be the most beneficial place to post a HIRED HELP sign for everyone to see.

Premise/plot: Grace, the heroine, needs help on her potato farm. She is busy caring for her widower father, Owen. Her own husband, Victor, has died. So it's the two of them alone now. Robert is new to town and desperate for work. More desperate than he might have been if he was on his own. His wife surprised him with three children from a previous marriage. The kids showed up soon after the wedding, they hadn't been married many weeks before she died. Robert has trust issues especially where women are concerned. Tom, Becky, and Sarah need a lot of attention and love, Grace is happy to get involved--once she realizes who they are and how they've been living. Grace isn't the only one being courted, Stella is also new to town and she catches Owen's attention. He is ready for a second chance at love.

My thoughts: I'll start with the strengths. The characters that are essential to the story are very well developed. The relationships between characters are definitely developed as well. In particular the relationship between Owen and Grace, and Owen and Robert. I love seeing Robert's family blend so well with Grace's family. This even begins to include Stella. The children are not a plot device of the author. There is a very human element to the story, to the writing. That is the good news.

The bad news is that the plot is a disastrous mash-up of unoriginal plot devices. I won't name them all, but if you've read more than a handful of Christian bestsellers, you've probably come across them all. It's the fact that tired twists show up boom, boom, boom, boom, one after another in the last third of the novel for no real reason that makes me cranky. I really was loving the first two hundred pages, but the last one hundred and twenty-five were upsetting. You don't want to spend that much of your time yelling at the characters. The writing was so strong in the beginning. I just don't know why the author had to include enough drama for five different romance endings.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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