Tuesday, May 11, 2021

30. Come Back To Me

Come Back To Me (Waters of Time #1) Jody Hedlund. 2021. [July] 384 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: “Your father is in a coma.” “What did you say?” Marian Creighton fumbled with her phone and almost dropped it. “I don’t think I heard you correctly.” “I’m sorry, Marian.” Harrison Burlington’s English accent on the other end was as loud and clear as if he’d been sitting at Jasper’s desk opposite from hers. “Unfortunately, you did hear me all too correctly. I’m afraid your father is in a coma.”

Premise/plot: Marian Creighton, our heroine, is determined to save both her father (who is in a coma) and her sister (who is dying of a genetic disease). Her father (before his coma) was mad determined as well. He has been obsessed with finding the tree of life. Yes, you read that correctly. The tree of life. Perhaps not the actual-actual tree, that might be a bit much, but any seeds that may remain from the tree of life. His theory is that those seeds were carried to England (at one point) and have blessed several springs with healing powers (just read your history). He is looking for that holy water. And it is up to his daughter (now that he is in a coma) to finish his research...before his competitors steal it (because of course they have an agenda).

Marian spent years--if not decades--of her life distancing herself from her father's obsession. But now that he is in a coma and she's found a few cryptic notes, she's convinced that the only way to save her family is to carry out her father's research--even if that comes at great risk to herself. (Then again, experimenting on one's self and taking big risks with the hope of great reward might be part of the whole mad scientist thing?)

Here is where I recommend readers suspend all disbelief. And I do mean all--all while you're reading (book in hand), all while you're thinking about what you've read, all while you're thinking about thinking about what you've just read. 

So now that you're willing to believe everything without asking any questions (not even one), this novel features time travel via drinking holy water. The solution to many of her problems may be found in the past--the year 1381 to be exact.

Will she find what she's looking for? Or perhaps will she found what she has never bothered looking for?

My thoughts: I definitely found this one compelling. Even when I found it over the top ridiculous I found it compelling. 

I loved the past setting of Come Back To Me. True I thought she was very UNprepared and very naive as she oriented herself to the past. (Honestly, who wouldn't be to a certain degree.) It seems to me she could have spent a little more time researching and planning before she drank herself to the past. (That's a very odd sentence). Still, it was the past that made this one an exciting read. 

This one may pretend to be many things--a mystery, a thriller, science fiction--but at its heart, at its core it is essentially a romance (and a STEAMY, STEAMY, STEAMY romance at that).

Let's talk steam. On the one hand, ALL THE STEAM happens in a marital relationship. On the other hand, even though it isn't in any way improper for the characters to be in a steamy, sensual, oh-so-intimate relationship, that might not be the case for the book's readers. 

For some readers who have had struggles in the past or are currently struggling with smutty-smut romance addiction, the steam in this one may not make this one a good choice. If reading this one makes you tempted to pick up that addiction again. (Be it romance novels or movies).

I would say also that Christian fiction tends to be labeled "safe" and "clean" and "appropriate" for readers of most ages (think 8+). I know I was certainly reading Janette Oke when I was in elementary school. This one would not be one you'd want young(er) readers to read. I think older teens it might not be a bad choice--especially if they read widely from secular publications--this is probably oh-so-tame/lame in comparison to the heavy stuff. But it might not be the absolute best choice either. 

If you are "triggered" (and I don't know that this is the best word choice) easily, this might be a gateway back into a sin you're trying to recover from.

But every reader is different. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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